Boost for new business talent

L to R, Lauren Whyment, who runs the creche in the Community Centre, with Tilly Edmunds (1 year old) and Harris Thrower (1 year old)
L to R, Lauren Whyment, who runs the creche in the Community Centre, with Tilly Edmunds (1 year old) and Harris Thrower (1 year old)

The hidden talents and entrepreneurial spirit of Armed Forces’ spouses are to be nurtured through a pilot business scheme.

The Business Creation Project has been awarded almost £20,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant and will be delivered by Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES), supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland, Business Gateway, AFF (Army Families Federation) and HIVE (the information network for all members of the Service community).

The project will run from Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik, home to The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland – RHF (2 SCOTS), over ten weeks, from August 25.

WES applied for funding from the covenant after recognising that traditional employment can be hard to sustain for the spouses and partners of servicemen and women.

WES CEO Margaret Gibson, said: “We know there is currently a real lack of any business creation programme with a gender-appropriate approach and childcare provision for the spouses and partners of servicemen and women in the Edinburgh area. These are people who typically have a wealth of talents, including resilience, flexibility and resourcefulness.

“Many do not pursue traditional employment opportunities due to the demands of a military focused lifestyle, yet their resilience and capacity to adapt can make them ideal entrepreneurs.”

The Business Creation Project encompasses a free ten-week course for 1.5 hours per week, where attendees will be helped to develop business ideas, match existing skills and gain information and confidence on how to start up and run a small business. Crèche facilities will be provided and there will be a private online forum for spouses unable to attend the weekly sessions due to other commitments. A dedicated website will provide information on business creation and local sources of help and support.

For further information about the project, visit www.startupwithwes.com,