Government campaign helps ex-service personnel to 'be the boss'

Armed Forces veterans wishing to start their own business or become self-employed are to be given more support under a new £5 million Government scheme.

The Government's "Be the Boss" campaign, to be delivered by the Royal British Legion, will provide ex-service personnel with loans and grants to assist with the costs of starting and growing a business. The Royal British Legion will also increase the information and advice available to those looking to set up a business, including matching to mentors to provide assistance to those in the early stage of their business career.

Royal British Legion will provide up to £5 million in enterprise support, which can include training, funding to help meet initial costs or financing to help grow a business established within the past two years.

Ex-service personnel, who have been discharged since 7 October 2001, will be able to apply for a loan of up to £30,000 and grants of up to £7,500 through the scheme, which builds on the Legion's Civvy Street www.civvystreet.org website service.

Department for Business Minister Lord Drayson said: "In my time at Defence, I've been inspired by the talent, capability and can-do attitude of the Armed Forces. Those are exactly the qualities you need in business too, but ex-service personnel are under-represented when it comes to start ups and self-employment.

"This scheme puts that right, helping former servicemen and women to be their own boss and go on contributing to our society."