The first Business Creation Project in Scotland for Armed Forces’ spouses and partners has received a visit by Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Jobs .
Accompanied by Midlothian Provost Joe Wallace and Officer Commanding Lorne Campbell, the Cabinet Secretary met some of the 21 women who are taking part in the free, 10-week course at Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik.
Designed to gain insight and confidence on how to start up and run a small business, the course encourages attendees to capitalise on existing skills, identify business ideas and work to create and build a new business.
The project has been awarded almost £20,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant and is being delivered by Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES), supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland, Business Gateway, the Army Welfare Service, the Army Families Federation, and HIVE (the information network for all members of the Service community).
WES applied for the cash after recognising that traditional employment can be hard to sustain for the wives and partners of servicemen and women.
Chairman Lynne Cadenhead said: “We are delighted with the success of the project so far. Our aim is to inspire, motivate and inform participants on the benefits and challenges of business creation and the processes involved. The military community is resourceful and already there are some very promising ideas coming out from the group and businesses being formed.”
Mr Brown said: “Entrepreneurship is largely about finding and exploring new markets and, by working with the partners of servicemen and women, this new project can be said to be a perfect example of that.
“As Veterans Minister, I can testify to the remarkable resilience and skills found within the armed forces community and it makes sense that if we are to be a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation those special attributes are realised t o the full.”
Course participant Liz Dadd said: “The project has really helped to give me the confidence to take my business idea forward and turn it into a reality. The training we have received and the benefit you get from collaborating with a group of like-minded people has been fantastic.”