FSB’s Volunteer Awards this year of course were held virtually and therefore there was a strong turnout from across the country, covering all sorts of volunteering roles. Ren received The Policy Award particularly for the work she did around one monumental UK Government policy change which comes into effect in April 2021. Everyone at X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) is particularly proud of this news for Ren and all she does in support of the Military-in-Business community.
Craig Beaumont, Chief of External Affairs at FSB explains:
“It is of course always wonderful to acknowledge the activity of FSB volunteers from across our 165,000 members; hundreds of small business owners who give us their time, expertise and passion around a crucial policy topic or a local area.”
“As FSB is a grassroots campaigning organisation, our volunteers are at the heart of what we do. Ren is our Armed Forces Champion. Crucially, she is the first and only volunteer appointed by our elected National Chairman, Mike Cherry. As we designed the XFE/FSB partnership, we deliberately enshrined this so that the commitment was led right from the very top of our organisation. This makes Ren’s role very special; but what makes her stand out this year from a policy view point is what she has achieved, building each year on the previous one. Her work originates in armed forces led businesses and she is passionate about the strengths and attributes these individuals have; however, the most recent policy change we have championed together impacts far beyond armed forces owned businesses, reaching to any of the UK’s 1 million small employers who from April 2021 recruit from the armed forces veteran community.”
“We were delighted to work with Ren, Martin and the team at X-Forces Enterprise to publish ‘A Force for Business: Service leavers and small business’ in June 2019 which was the launch pad for the campaign to get a 12-month employer National Insurance relief for veteran recruitment explored within Government, and then adopted in party manifestos for the General Election in December 2019. Our work had some grounding in research conducted in 2017 and 2018 through WIER (Warwick Institute for Employment Research); Ren and XFE were a partner within that research project too. This informed various aspects of “A Force for Business” of which one cornerstone was the NICs relief proposals. In 2019, The partnership proved to be the perfect pincer movement – FSB talking to the Cabinet Office, X-Forces talking to the Ministry of Defence. Having lobbied our hearts out, we are delighted to see this now delivered from early April 2021.”
Johnny Mercer MP, Minister Defence People and Veterans commented, “This policy change is great evidence of what we can do collaboratively across the armed forces community to find new and innovative ways to make the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran. I’ve known Ren for a long while now, since before I became Minister, her commitment to serve this community is a benchmark for many and I’m so delighted for her that those efforts are being recognised through this Award.”
Craig Beaumont concludes; “At a time of huge pressure on businesses and on employment due to COVID 19, this can’t come at a more opportune time to help small employers to create jobs in our veterans community. This a great victory for veterans and small businesses, and it’s thanks to the ground work and persistent diligence of Ren as a brilliant FSB volunteer. Alongside X-Forces Enterprise and our own policy team, it really is a dream team. Ren – thank you, and congratulations from all of us at FSB!”
“It is always nice to receive this sort of accolade,” says Ren Kapur MBE, “It is particularly nice to receive it from FSB as we value the work they do and the contributions they make so highly. Thank you to everyone involved.” Ren Kapur has been Armed Forces Champion for FSB since 2017. You can read more about the 12-month employers NIC tax relief here. You can see the report and images from the whole Awards ceremony through the FSB website.