Find out what it’s like to kayak across the Atlantic… alone

Our upcoming networking event is sure to excite and appeal to those with a sense of adventure, as we are pleased to announce that Pete Bray, a former elite soldier and adventurer, will talk about his exploits.

Pete first served in the SAS before becoming the first person to kayak across the North Atlantic unsupported.

It took Pete 76 days to complete his voyage – he lost three stone and his doctor described him as ‘the healthiest skeleton that he had ever seen’. The first time that Pete tried to cross the Atlantic he failed and almost drowned, but it didn’t stop him from trying again and succeeding.

Pete will talk candidly about his adventures and about setting up and growing his Cornish kayak and coaching business PB Adventures.

Heropreneurs currently mentors Pete and you can find out how we can help by joining us in January for this special event.

When: Wed 11 January 2017 @ 18:30 – 21:00 GMT

Where: The Tower Room, London & Partners, 6th Floor, 2 More London Riverside, London, SE1 2RR

Price: £16.22

Tickets: EventBrite

Heropreneurs help serving (regular and reserves), spouses and ex-service men and women develop their ideas and give them the mentoring, networking and confidence to try to reduce the risks inherent in starting and growing a business.

Many of these mentors are business people with significant experience of small businesses who have not served themselves but who are willing to give a couple of hours per month to help those who have served.

The event price covers our event costs (including a drink or two) with all profits going to the charity.

The venue has generously given us the room free of charge.

Dress code is whatever you fancy and I hope you’ll join us for an inspiring, humorous and enlivening evening!

Guest blog: The Founding Steps of the Heropreneurs Venture

In this month’s guest blog post, Peter Starbuck sets out the founding steps for any new business venture. Read the piece below and feel free to digest and share on your own website or social media accounts.

All new ventures, whether they are businesses of not-for-profit organisations need what used to be called ‘a business plan’, which is now called a strategy.

This is because as little as 50 years ago management meant business for profit. Now management is an essential part of our lives. The first is the basic idea, which is the inspiration to create the organisation.

It is the purpose – the ‘Why’ question? The second is research to determine if there is a market demand for the proposed project, which may be a product or a service or a combination of both.

The research may throw-up a range of answer that may include the need for a better product than exists, which may be more complex and sophisticated, or more surprisingly, more simple.

Also revealed may be the demand for something that the customer has not realised they require, be it a new product or service. It could be new access by different forms of delivery, which includes gaining access to previously inaccessible countries of the world.

The next action is to answer the question what are the resources needed: human, material, and capital to produce the product or service. This leads to the questions are they affordable? And if they are not readily available how can they be made so?

With the resources in place and the support required, a start can be made as the final mechanics of performing management can be implemented. This is when the plan is organised into action with the necessary controls to measure essential performance.

Always to be remembers is the essentiality of integration to keep the function in balance.

Sales traditionally the description was ‘sales and marketing’, which were lumped together as the majority incorrect view was that the sales would look after themselves.

Generally so little was known about sales and marketing that they were labelled in the wrong order as marketing is the preparation to make sales work.

Fortunately, through observing the best performers in sales, such as IBM and Unilever, it has been recognised as the essential dynamic force by converting the output effort into cash.

Cash is as essential to the organisation as blood is to bodies. For as without it, the body dies. It has been correctly observed that organisations can make losses several times and survive, yet it can only run out of cash once.

About Peter Starbuck

Starting his career as a quantity surveyor while completing National Service in the Royal Engineers, Peter is now a Visiting Research Fellow to The Open University Business School and a Researcher and Contributor on Management to the British Library. 

He holds fellowships with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Chartered Management Institute.

Other notable positions include: Peter StarbuckFounding Visiting Professor, University Centre Shrewsbury Visiting Professor, University of Chester Visiting Research Fellow, The Open University Business School Researcher and Contributor to the British Library, Alma Mater: The Open University Business School Subject Matter Expert, Chartered Management Institute.

Find out more by visiting his site http://www.starbuckonmanagement.co.uk

November Networking Event Announced

Details for our latest networking event have been announced and we are pleased to reveal that it will take place on Wednesday 9th of November at 18.30.

A military vetran will talk through his transition into being a civilian entrepreneur. This is likely to cover his management buy out and many more interesting topics.

The event will take place at the In & Out (Naval and Military Club, No. 4 StJames’s Square, London, SW1Y 4JU and tickets cost just £16.22.

Heropreneurs help serving (regular and reserves), spouses and ex-service men and women develop their ideas and give them the mentoring, networking and confidence to try to reduce the risks inherent in starting and growing a business.

Many of these mentors are business people with significant experience of small businesses who have not served themselves but who are willing to give a couple of hours per month to help those who have served.

Read all about our events in this excellent blog article.

The event price covers our event costs (including a drink or two) with all profits going to the charity. The venue has generously given us the room free of charge.

Dress code is of jacket and tie and I hope you’ll join us for an inspiring, entertaining and enlivening evening!

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

Heropreneurs Networking: A Wife’s Tale

In this week’s blog post, Jess Sands talks us through her experience as a military spouse, business woman and her first experience at a Heropreneurs networking event:

“We’ve just been posted from RAF Brize Norton, where I enjoyed the some productive and incredibly successful networking through The Oxfordshire Project and I missed my local business friends. So when I spotted Heropreneurs networking I thought I would give it a try.

Now, as a military wife I am often exposed to the ‘other half’, that being the serving personnel – male or female. They come in various shapes and sizes but have a few things in common. They usually have a short back and sides, they often talk in acronyms and they are very rarely seen out of chinos and a freshly ironed blue shirt. So when I walked into the conference room of the RAF Club for my first Heropreneurs networking talk I was expecting something similar. What I was greeted with couldn’t have been more different.

First, let me tell you about Heropreneurs. Primarily set up for recent Armed Forces leavers and veterans, Heropreneurs is a charity and social enterprise that provides business advice and support. I’d originally heard about them through my work with Forces Enterprise Network. They provide workshops, mentoring, and networking and unit talks from business leaders throughout the country, many with established businesses and a military link.

I cannot tell a lie. I was expecting it to be a bit of a boy’s club. I’ve been to far too many business networking events with middle aged men in suits and ties looking very wary of a young female business owner.

I have also spent too many mess functions with similarly thinking sorts of men, not sure how to place me….to be honest I wasn’t expecting to get much.

What I actually found was an open minded group of genuinely interesting professionals, some of which were veterans and others have no service background at all but with an interest in supporting the military.

They were keen to find out about my company and how they could help after our recent posting to North London and were curious about my work with both FEN, FEN HUB (with Recruit for Spouces and Evolution Forces Families) and the Supporting the Unsung Hero Start-Up Business Course.

The evening began with some informal networking (and lovely RAF wine), and was followed by a fascinating talk from a young veteran about his successful business he has launched since leaving the Army (http://thegoodrubbishcompany.co.uk/). After a quick Q&A we had our round table elevator pitches and I was met with sincere interest and a little bit of surprise.

I was the only spouse there that evening, and although I know a lot about military way, the hurdles that I faced for my business were different to the majority of previous attendees.

I spoke of our struggle to find employment every two years after a new employer sees a patchy CV. I mentioned how difficult it was running a household, a business and a family during yet another detachment, and the joys of a posting and losing clients.

I think it struck a chord and I hope that a few went home to talk to their other halves about their careers and the possibilities out there for the ‘trailing spouse’.

I am not sure that they knew about our amazing spouse network, but I promised to bring some more of ‘us’ next time.”

About the author:

“Jess Sands is the founder and senior designer at Design • Jessica, where businesses come for stand-out design and marketing literature.

Since graduating with BA(Hons) Jess has worked for the last ten years with major companies such as Oxford University Press, Disney and Marks & Spencer. Now, as a military spouse of a current serving RAF officer Jess has diversified into designing for the military community, working with companies such as Forces Enterprise Network, The Army Widow’s Association and the RAF Benevolent Fund using her special knowledge of the military.

As brand specialists, businesses specifically commission Design • Jessica to set them apart from their competitors and appeal directly to their client base.”

Get to know ex-solider-turned-photographer Dave Mackay

Regular visitors to this site will have likely already read about The Bigger Picture: artist Freddy Paske and photographer Dave Mackays year-long project to highlight the illegal poaching of animals that occurs across the globe, but now you can find out more about the man behind the lens.

This excellent interview by Emulsive.org details Dave’s life in the Army, his reason for turning to photography and the many adventures his chosen career has taken him on.

“I started shooting film when I was 15 years old,” explains Dave in the interview. “My grandmother bought me a Praktica BMS with all the lenses for my birthday.

“At the time buying and developing film soaked up all my (parent’s) spare cash but I got through Ilford black and white film and Colorama stock at an alarming rate.

“Learning how film reacted to light and how I could influence it formed the basis of my passion at that early stage. I also learned to visualise the final image before committing to the shot, something that I think is very important,” he adds.

You can read more of the interview here.

Freddy Paske and Dave Mackay’s The Bigger Picture project receives added support

Freddy Paske and Dave Mackay, an artist and a photographer, will embark on a yearlong project titled The Bigger Picture, which will raise awareness and funding for anti-poaching teams around the world.

The talented team have long been mentored and guided by Heropreneurs but the project has recently received the full support of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF).

Freddy Paske stated: “It is a huge privilege to be supported by such a prestigious organisation as DSWF. To show the exhibition at the 10th Anniversary of the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition will be an incredible opportunity and one Dave and I both look forward to.”

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF), based in the UK, is a flexible organisation responding promptly to conservation threats by supporting trusted individuals and organisations operating in the field. Lean on administration but generous on funding, DSWF supports a range of vital wildlife conservation projects throughout Africa and Asia.

Funding is targeted to fight wildlife crime and achieve real results for wildlife survival by: supporting undercover investigations and anti-poaching patrols; demand reduction campaigns; increasing international awareness of conservation threats; and teaching young people about endangered wildlife through art and school projects.

Advocacy to strengthen national and international wildlife law and policy and its implementation complements DSWF’s field and education projects.

The Bigger Picture project will see both Freddy and Dave working with a number of anti-poaching teams on the African continent, documenting the work of individuals through their respective mediums.

“The year will culminate with an exhibition alongside a number of talks and the production of a book to raise much needed funding for the teams.

“Being a member of Heroprenuers and attending the various monthly gatherings has and will help us succeed in this goal, it’s an invaluable asset to have,” Freddy added.

The Bigger Picture team are now seeking sponsorship; this is an ideal opportunity for the right company or individual to support this amazing endeavour.

If you would like further information about The Bigger Picture or if you would like to see your company logo and name attached to this project in all press releases, on the documentary film and at all exhibitions then please contact: Liz Parker Abbot’s Consultants Ltd Tel: 07415 127 068 lizparker@abbotsconsultants.com

Heropreneurs invests in exciting and innovative event animation company Zing Ping

Heropreneurs, the charity that helps Service leavers, Armed Forces veterans and their families achieve their entrepreneurial potential, is excited to announce that it has invested in wedding and events animation business Zing Ping.

Serving Submariner Gus Mason and his wife Helen run the burgeoning company, which offers a mobile animation studio for hen and stag do experiences, wedding animation and stop motion animation booths for events.

“I had always dreamed of owning my own business and being my own boss but I felt that the energy and time required to achieve this would be hard to gather, especially with the demands of being deployed at irregular intervals,” explains Gus Mason.

“My wife Helen agreed to help me grow the business while I completed my service and she introduced me to Heropreneurs, who said they would be able to help with the demands of setting up a new company,” he adds.

Heropreneurs, which is honoured to help create the pride of business from the UK Armed Forces, set up a number of initial meetings to work out exactly how it could provide assistance.

“From the very first meeting Heropreneurs understood the challenges and concerns facing us in this totally new venture,” explains Gus Mason.

“They were on hand to meet with us and offer advice and guidance on the basics of business structure, as well as putting us in touch with subject matter experts when required.  Having that level of expertise in your corner was a real help and a great confidence booster,” he adds.

Heropreneurs has taken its mentoring of the business one step further by investing in Zing Ping, after the charity’s founders saw great potential in the pioneering business.

“We are delighted to have invested in Zing Ping,” explains Peter Mountford, one of the founders and Chairman of Heropreneurs.

“Helen and Gus Mason joined our Mentoring Programme about six months ago and we have been seriously impressed with their commitment to the new business.

“By investing in Zing Ping we are demonstrating the support that Heropreneurs will give to Helen and Gus in helping them to start their new business and create something really special from it,” he adds.

Heropreneurs has also stated that any profits achieved by charity from this investment will be used to fund the organisation and invest in new opportunities created by people that have served in the Armed Forces.

Contact details:

Heropreneurs

Peter Mountford Mob: 07774 842761

Email: peter@heropreneurs.co.uk

Heropreneurs.co.uk

Zing Ping

Helen Mason Mob: 07715 097389

Email: info@zingping.co.uk

Zingping.co.uk

Guest Blog: Peter Starbuck on Reducing the Risk by Doing the Basics

We start our own business ventures for a variety of reasons. Some are the result of a conscious plan; others start by accident when we meet someone whom we may or may not know.

Others are the result of doing the job in our spare time, and then being asked if we carry out the same service for other people.

As a result of further orders, we suddenly find ourselves in business. However we become involved, we need to apply some simple procedures to ensure that we limit the risks that are highly likely to happen at some time in the life of a business through circumstances over which we have no control.

Many of us who start our own venture often lack contacts who will give us basic advice, and procedures that can be effected at reasonable cost.

Even some of us who have been in business for several years may not have got around to checking if our house is in the best order.

The question many of us need to ask ourselves is “Why haven’t we placed our venture in a Limited Company?” Simply by placing your activities within this structure, you will be protecting your house, car and private cash from the risk of your venture failing – often through no fault of your own.

Forming a Limited Company is not rocket science and will protect us and our family from losing effectively most of what we personally own. If we are not limited, it’s a job for tomorrow – not next week or when we have time.

If we don’t have an accountant, we need to find one. And when we’ve done that, and sorted out the Limited Company, ask them to check that we have the appropriate insurance to not only protect ourselves, but also to comply with the law.

For those of us who have never thought about these facilities, just remember they are steps on the road to becoming a responsible member of the growing band of entrepreneurs who are taking charge of their own lives.

About Peter Starbuck

Starting his career as a quantity surveyor while completing National Service in the Royal Engineers, Peter is now a Visiting Research Fellow to The Open University Business School and a Researcher and Contributor on Management to the British Library.

He holds fellowships with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Chartered Management Institute.

Other notable positions include:

Founding Visiting Professor, University Centre Shrewsbury

Visiting Professor, University of Chester

Visiting Research Fellow, The Open University Business School

Researcher and Contributor to the British Library,

Alma Mater: The Open University Business School

Subject Matter Expert, Chartered Management Institute

Find out more by visiting his site http://www.starbuckonmanagement.co.uk

Drone Defence: More on the latest Heropreneurs mentee

Established by one of the UK’s leading drone experts and former Army Officer, Drone Defence has unparalleled knowledge about the threat posed by commercially available drones and can offer advice on how to make locations more secure.

Drone Defence has developed their unique D.I.R.E.C.T. Action Plan™ to advise organizations on how to respond to the threat.

“Airports across the UK are reporting near misses on a weekly basis,” explains Gill.  “Prisons are in the same position, when a mobile phone is worth 20 times more on ‘the inside’ there will always be criminal elements willing to take the risk as the rewards are so great,” he says.

According to the company, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  For every incident that is detected, Gill claims that there are many more occurrences that the authorities simply don’t know about.

“The crime is remote and the chances of getting caught are very small,” explains Gill.  “The drone operator can but up to one mile away from the drone and fly into the danger area in the comfort that there is little chance that they are going to be caught,” he explains.

Drone Defence has developed a system to assess the risk posed to facilities and installations.  The Action Plan helps organisations to Detect, Interdict, Respond, Exploit, Communicate and can Train security staff to prevent unwanted drones.

Heropreneurs will be on hand to offer support and advice to a company that is going from strength-to-strength.

To find out how we can help you, click on the Our Support tab on the website or fill out a form via the Applications tab.

News: Drone Defence joins entrepreneurship programme, Heropreneurs joins Cobseo

July has been a busy month for Heropreneurs, with the usual networking events, business advice and support for service leavers remaining at the forefront of what we do.

But we have also welcomed Drone Defence, experts in the operation of the commercially available UAV and drone technology, to our mentoring programme.

We will work alongside this excellent business, which gives advice on how to counter and react to unwanted drone incursions, to develop, nurture and offer support where we can.

In other news, Heropreneurs recently became a member of the Confederation of Service Charities, better known as Cobseo, which helps promote and further the welfare and general interests of the Armed Forces Community.

We hope this will help us spread the word of our services and keep those interested informed of our monthly gatherings and the sort of support we offer.

You can sign up to our next networking event, which provides a great opportunity to find out more about what we do, by following this link.

Or Please get in touch by emailing team@heropreneurs.co.uk