“Always striving to ensure that adversity does not hamper ambition and success, Ren is passionate about enabling individuals and communities to support themselves through enterprise & business.” The Rt Hon. the Lord Young of Graffham CH DL
Throughout my career I have sought and created opportunities that enable individuals and communities to support themselves through enterprise and business ownership. I channel my experience and contacts from various organisations to bring together Corporate, Charities, Government and local stakeholders’ agendas, concentrating on growth strategies and enabling sustainable organisations, ventures and in particular supporting individuals to achieve their potential through career choices.
As 1 in 7 people are self-employed at some point in their career, I believe enterprise learning is an important agenda which should be taught at an early age, and these skills are important whether you are employed or self-employed.
I have had the privilege of being a business owner since the age of 18 and have had various businesses from start-up to investing in growing concerns. In all cases, the business ventures have had a community impact, and this is something, although unknown to me at the age 18, that has been at the heart of my decision making when deciding if the venture is right for me. Some of these ventures have been more successful than others, but as the adage goes, it’s what you do with challenges that is important to grow and prosper.
My current business ventures include, Enterprise ForLife ®, X-Forces Enterprise, X-Emergency Services and Soldiering On Awards. In all of the cases you’ll see a theme, enterprise and business, education & learning.
I was first formally appointed to champion Enterprise Learning by the Secretary of State for Education in 2009, as the national champion for Business, Admin and Finance. This led me to work with the FTSE 500 to establish the highly successful task force to enable our young people to prosper hand in glove with the education and private sectors.
X-Forces Enterprise (CIC) supports members of the Armed Forces community to understand what it is like to own a start-up business. Since 2013, XFE has supported thousands of business ventures launched by veterans through training, funding and ongoing support.
A flagship event in our calendar is the Soldiering On Awards which recognises the outstanding achievements of those who have served our country – the diverse people and groups who work together in support of the Armed Forces Community. We aim to encourage support for this remarkable community by celebrating the achievements of the people, teams, and businesses within it.
X-Emergency Services (XES) which supports the emergency services with enterprise and business. The key distinction between XFE and XES is that we also provide career transition support, a vital part of the start of the journey for those who need it.
One of my many proud moments; I was awarded an MBE for service to the Entrepreneurship in 2016 in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours. I was honoured and privileged to meet our late Queen Elizabeth II at her home in Windsor.
Charity work and volunteering is a big part of my life and has been since early 2000 which has continued throughout the last two decades.
My current portfolio includes, and in no particular order – Army Reservist; Federation of Small Business Policy; All Party Parliamentarian Group Women and Enterprise lead for Education and Skills; Enterprise M3 Board Member and Visiting Fellow of Anglian Ruskin University. Updated Nov 2022.
Read about all of Ren’s ventures here.