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Be the Boss Scheme: business grants for armed forces

In 2010 the Royal British Legion released the "Be the Boss" scheme, which offers business grants to armed forces officers and other finance incentives required to start a small business. The scheme is designed for anyone who has left the armed forces after the beginning of the Afghanistan war in 2001 (after October 2001).

The scheme is funded by £5 million grant from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and is delivered by Legion partners and agencies across the UK. Applicants who are currently deployed are also considered on a "reserve" list for the scheme.

As well as providing financial incentive to anyone planning on leaving the armed forces the scheme, part of the Legion's Poppy Fund service, also offers careers advice and information for future employment not related to the armed forces or information regarding other funding incentives available.

What Does the Scheme Offer?

The "Be the Boss" scheme offers business grants for armed forces who served after 2001, small business start up loans, information on taxes, jobs or other careers, financial advice, business advice and training incentives. The amount received by each applicant depends on the nature of the business and the purpose of the finance; the length of time a grant is received also depends on individual applicants, so there is no fixed amount or period for receiving finance.

What Can Funds Be Used For?

Again, there is no exhaustive list for usage of business grants for former armed forces officers. Grants can be used for training purposes, new employment plans or any costs associated with starting a business. Applications are considered on an individual basis and are not limited by strict criteria.

How to Apply

You can apply or find out more information about the "Be the Boss Scheme" by calling 0800 678 5787 or logging on to civvystreet.org.

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