The Telegraph’s 1st print article on Heropreneurs

This was well worth waiting for!  Superb article on Steve McCulley of LIOS Bikes and how he created the business with a little help from Heropreneurs.

The Heropreneurs Awards Welcomes Goldman Sachs As A Sponsor

With just under a month before the closing date for entries to the Heropreneurs Awards in association with The Telegraph, Goldman Sachs, the leading global investment bank and financial services company, has signed up to sponsor the Heropreneurs Awards.  In so doing they join a strong line-up of supporters such as Deborah Meaden, star of Dragon’s Den, Paddy Ashdown, the MoD, Warwick Business School, top ranking military personnel and many leading businessmen and women from the corporate world.

Peter Mountford, the Chairman of Heropreneurs, said “We are delighted that Goldman Sachs have decided to sponsor our inaugural Awards.  Goldman Sachs does a great deal to nurture Armed Forces Veterans and recognises the considerable skills that these exceptional people have in civvy street”.


Veterans Foundation

£10,000 prize to be granted to the winner of the Heropreneurs Veterans’ Foundation Award

All too many veterans find leaving the Armed Forces, and returning to civvy street, a huge struggle due to physical injuries and mental health issues.  This may result in homelessness, unemployment, family breakdown, and a dramatic deterioration in their well-being. The Veterans’ Foundation is a charity that was created to raise funds for military-related charities and other organisations that do excellent and effective work in helping veterans in need.  This Heropreneurs Award category seeks to recognise an individual in civvy street, or a business, that has given outstanding help to such veterans.

Nominees of the Veterans’ Foundation Award must be an individual who is a civilian (not necessarily from a military background), a former member of the Armed Services, or a UK business.  The winner of this Award will receive the prize of a grant of £10,000 from the Veterans’ Foundation to be given to the charity that the winner runs or works for, or the charity of their choice provided that it helps Armed Forces’ people in need and is approved by the Board of the Veterans’ Foundation.

People can be nominated for this Award by applying here.

The Heropreneurs Awards is a new initiative created to celebrate the achievements of ex-Armed Forces personnel in business.  It is run by Heropreneurs, a charity created in 2009, that helps ex-Armed Forces personnel and their dependants on the road to creating their own businesses.  The Awards are run in association with The Telegraph and the Warwick Business School, and with support from the Ministry of Defence.

Deborah Meaden and The Ministry of Defence support the Heropreneurs Awards


Heropreneurs is delighted to announce that Deborah Meaden, the serial entrepreneur and investor, who stars in the highly successful TV series ‘Dragons Den’, has agreed to be a Judge on the Heropreneurs Awards.

Heropreneurs is also honoured that The Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood MP, Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence, who will be presenting the top award of Heropreneur of the Year, will also be attending the Awards Ceremony on 14 November 2018 at the Plaisterers’ Hall in the City of London.

Further information can be found here.

Nominations or applications for the Awards can be made here.

Breakfast Show on BFBS

Peter Mountford, the Chairman of Heropreneurs, was recently interviewed by Richard Hatch and Verity Geere on BFBS Radio’s Forces Breakfast Show about the Heropreneurs Awards.  You can listen to the interview here:

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

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!


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 ( 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 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.