Appointment of Major-General Tom Copinger-Symes as a new Trustee of Heropreneurs

Appointment of Major-General Tom Copinger-Symes as a new Trustee of Heropreneurs.

The Board of Heropreneurs is pleased to announce the appointment of Major-General Tom Copinger Symes as a Trustee.  Tom is a British Army Officer who serves as General Officer commanding Force Troops Command.

Tom was commissioned into the Royal Green Jackets in 1992.  He served as commanding officer of the 5thBattalion, The Rifles, in Afghanistan between November 2011 and April 2012.  He became commander of 1stIntelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade in April 2014, Assistant Chief of Staff (Operations) at Army Headquarters in June 2016, and General Officer Commanding Force Troops Command in December 2017.

Tom was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Birthday Honours.

On his appointment as a Trustee of Heropreneurs, Tom said “I could not be more delighted to be joining the Board of Heropreneurs.  Developing Soldiers’ potential and unleashing their talent is a particular passion of mine – it’s why I joined the Army and why I’ve stayed. Helping the fabulous Heropreneurs team to do the same thing for Veterans and their families will be a privilege and a pleasure.”

Viliame Nanovo, who has been a Trustee of Heropreneurs for a number of years, will be retiring as a Trustee of the charity.

Peter Mountford, the Chairman of Heropreneurs said “I would like to welcome Tom to the Board of Heropreneurs and very much look forward to his support and advice over many years to come.  I would also like to thank Viliame Nanovo for his role and support as a Trustee during a period when Heropreneurs has been transformed as a charity.  We are currently helping more than 50 entrepreneurs from the Armed Forces community on their roads to creating their own businesses, and are very much looking forward to celebrating the achievements of people from the Armed Forces at the Heropreneurs Awards on 7 November 2019”.


Peter Mountford, Chairman


M: 07774 842761


Notes to Editors:

Heropreneurs is a fully registered charity (no. 1136671), and member of Cobseo, that was founded 10 years ago to help anyone that has served in the Armed Forces, or their dependents, on the road to creating their own business














Steve McCulley of Lios bikes wins Heropreneur of the Year

The Telegraph features ex Marine Steve McCulley as Heropreneur of the Year, the top Award, at the Heropreneurs Awards.

You can read the full article here.

The full list of Heropreneurs Awards winners 2018 is:

Heropreneur of the year
Steve McCulley, founder, LIOS Bikes

Business leader of the year
Andrew Anderson, chief executive, Celaton

Large company employer
Barratt Developments

Small company employer
Handy Heroes

Entrepreneur of the year
Alex Matheson, co-founder, Fuel10K

Military partner in business award
Suzy Olivier, founder, Mama+Belle

Start-up of the year
Matt Wells and David Wood, co-founders, Frontgrid

Veterans’ Foundation award
Richard Cullen, chairman, Deptherapy

Warwick Business School bursary award
Iain Church, business development director, Moringa Miracles

New Strategic Partnership with Veteran Owned UK

Heropreneurs is very pleased to announce that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Veteran Owned UK, the largest UK Online Business Directory for UK military veterans. Veteran Owned UK was started in July 2017 by Scott Johnson, a former Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal Engineer, after seeing several similar directories on the internet for American Veteran Owned Businesses, and has grown to over 650 members.

The strategic partnership between the two organisations will involve cooperating in order to promote and expand each other’s organisations. Members of Heropreneurs will also be entitled to a 20% discount on Veteran Owned UK’s paid subscription rates.

After searching the internet to find a British version to choose to support his fellow Veterans, Scott found that there was nothing available. Within 2 hours, there was. Scott purchased the Domain name, set up a Facebook Page, a Twitter account, and an Instagram account and started the journey.

Originally, Scott thought that the Website could be set up and would almost self-manage itself through individuals filling in an online form and that generating the Directory. The more he promoted the Social Media side, the more he found that there was an amazing group of diverse businesses out there looking for a community to join and support each other.
One Veteran summed it up to Scott: the Veteran explained that he loved the idea of a Veteran Owned Directory. He didn’t want the public to see him as a charity case or being “broken”. He wanted to be seen as a capable, driven, individual who was out there carving his own place.

Scott wants the public to be able to choose to support a Veteran by using their business. It may be to buy a product, or to utilise a service from the business, but it will directly put money in to that Veteran Owned Business which is a huge boost in this current financial climate. Anyone should choose to use a Veteran Owned Business as the business is built around military principles such as Integrity, Attention to Detail, Willingness to see a job through, and a Desire to Serve.

Scott explains; “The website is our “Shop Front” where the public can find the businesses listed with us. We also have a “Back Room” in the form of a Facebook Group that is just for Veterans who own a business, are self-employed or are looking to start a business. This is the heart of the community and where members can help and support each other, regularly pass on contacts to each other, form partnerships, pass work referrals, ask and answer business related questions. We run free webinars on business topics with business experts to add value to individuals’ businesses or start up plans. We also run physical Networking Events to bring people together with Guest Speakers covering Business Topics.”

Veteran Owned UK’s aim is to gain Veteran Owned Businesses greater exposure to the public through a user-friendly online Directory. They also want to support Veteran Owned Businesses to build closer working relationships between the Veteran Owned Community.
In short, they want to be like “Checkatrade” but for Veteran Owned Businesses of any type. Their aim is to have 19,000 businesses listed in 5 years but hopefully will continue to grow past that and build a larger community from the estimated 187k active Veteran Owned Businesses in the UK currently


Steve McCulley of LIOS Bikes, has been named as Heropreneur of the Year at the prestigious Heropreneurs Awards in association with The Telegraph, which were celebrated last night in London.

Peter Mountford, the Chairman of Heropreneurs and Founder of the Heropreneurs Awards, said:  “The Heropreneurs Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of anyone who has served in the Armed Forces, and their dependants, in the world of business. The skills that people develop who serve this country in the Armed Forces are highly relevant to the world of business:  leadership, resilience, and determination to name but a few.  Steve McCulley of LIOS Bikes is a great example to all military entrepreneurs of what can be achieved despite the injury that he suffered whilst serving in Afghanistan.”

Heropreneurs is a registered charity and member of Cobseo that provides free mentoring and support for anyone who has served in the UK’s Armed Forces, or their dependants, on the road to creating their own businesses.

Welcomed by a fanfare from the Band of The Welsh Guards and presented by broadcaster and journalist Naga Munchetty, the Awards also welcomed The Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP, the Under Secretary of State for Defence at the MOD, as well as The First Sea Lord Admiral Philip Jones and General Richard Nugee, Chief of Defence Personnel.

With headline support from Surge Group plc, Warwick Business School, leading American business OBXtek, Goldman Sachs and The Veterans’ Foundation a wide range of people and businesses were recognised.

These included a high protein, nutritious cereal for people on the go; baby-friendly jewellery that mothers can wear when children are teething; a home building firm that actively engages with ex-military personnel and a charity that uses sub-aqua diving for rehabilitation for wounded servicemen and women.

The full list of winners is:

Business Leader of The Year: Andrew Anderson – CEO, Celaton

Large Company Employer: Barratt Developments plc

Small Company Employer:  Handy Heroes – Matt Hammond/Rich Hughes

Entrepreneur of The Year: Alex Matheson of Fuel10K Ltd

Heropreneur of The Year: Steve McCulley of LIOS Bikes Ltd

Military Partner in Business Award: Suzy Olivier of Mama + Belle

Start-Up of The Year: Matt Wells & David Wood for Frontgrid

Veterans’ Foundation Award: Richard Cullen for Deptherapy

Warwick Business School Bursary: Iain Church of Moringa Miracles Ltd



Business Leader of The Year: Andrew Anderson – CEO, Celaton

‘Understanding what motivates you will help others to offer their advice. Above all, reach out to ex-service personnel who have trodden the same path before you.’

Large Company Employer:Barratt Developments

‘Armed Forces personnel think on their feet and are problem solvers. They don’t dwell on problems or over complicate them they just get on with it’.

Small Company Employer:  Handy Heroes – Matt Hammond / Rich Hughes

‘We would like to thank Heropreneurs for their support over the years since founding Handy Heroes, and we owe some of our success to both the support of Heropreneurs, whose business introductions and guidance have been invaluable.’

Entrepreneur of The Year: Alex Matheson of Fuel10K Ltd

‘Surround yourself with the best people you can afford and preferably ones who are better than you are in their chosen field.’

Heropreneur of The Year: Steve McCulley of LIOS Bikes Ltd

‘Probably the greatest attribute I have learnt is about trust. In the Marines a bond of trust is created due to a common strand in training. I now realise that is not the same in the ‘real world’ or ‘civvie street’. That type of trust has to be earned over time, rather than given immediately.’

Military Partner in Business Award: Suzy Olivier of Mama + Belle

‘Though life handed me a new path, [when my husband joined the RAF] one that I’m proud to say that I took on whole heartedly, and I couldn’t be more positive and grateful for where it’s led both me and my family, and where it’s going to take us in the future.’

Start-Up of The Year: Matt Wells & David Wood for Frontgrid

‘When running a start-up, sales is everything! You can have the best operations team in the world but if you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business.’

Veterans’ Foundation Award: Richard Cullen for Deptherapy

‘This is my life; my passion and I will do this as long I have the physical and mental strength to help those we work with.’

Warwick Business School Bursary: Iain Church of Moringa Miracles Ltd

‘The safe option would have been to remain in the Army, draw a salary and enjoy

some of the key benefits such as subsidised housing but having reviewed my goals I decided to jump on the basis that ‘jump and the safety net will appear’.



For further Information please contact:


Peter Mountford, Chairman of Heropreneurs


Mob: 07774 842761


New branding and design

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone at We Launch who donated over £20,000 of new branding design and advice to Heropreneurs.  They were superb!

The Telegraph features Justin Crump of Sybelline

As part of the Telegraph’s series on our members, here’s the latest article on one of our exceptional entrepreneurs – Justin Crump of Sybelline.

The Telegraph features Richard Gill of Drone Defence

The Telegraph, as part of the series of articles that it is publishing on Heropreneurs in connection with the Heropreneurs Awards, featured Richard Gill of Drone Defence.  ‘No plan survives contact with the enemy’.

Heropreneurs has provided help to Richard through its highly successful Mentoring Programme.

You can read the full article here.


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.