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Bespoke Officers’ Association workshops launched

Bespoke Officers’ Association workshops launched


31 May, 2019

The first ‘Self-Employment Discovery’ workshop designed for former Armed Forces officers and their spouses − delivered by X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) in partnership with the Officers’ Association (OA) − has met with successful feedback from attendees …

The one-day workshops help attendees kick-start their business ideas and discover if working for themselves is a viable career move. As well as giving an insight into the pros and cons of self-employment, the workshops provide an opportunity to consider the wider impact on family and finances.

Among the nine attendees on the first workshop, one husband-and-wife team is already trading, several are in the planning stages for their business idea and a couple are still considering whether self-employment is right for them.

A number of business themes were explored by the cohort, including food and drink and cyber security. Several attendees plan to take their skills and experience into consultancy.

XFE training and development manager, Roger Cawte, remarked that the workshop was an extremely positive gathering, with the attendees sharing experiences and enjoying each other’s company.

Delegate feedback from the first cohort

  • ‘I liked the pace and the way the course was interactive. The content was excellent and really helpful. I feel encouraged to keep going in the business.’
  • ‘I have been running my businesses for two and a half years, while trading for just five months. Today was really helpful, and it was great that my wife/business partner could join me. The biggest plus was that the session was targeted at officers, and it felt comfortable to discuss matters at managerial level.’
  • ‘Enormous help. Lots of like-minded souls.’
  • ‘Well led and great discussion with like-minded people.’
  • ‘Positive energy and comments all around. Great to have spouses included too, makes the course much more diverse.’

Key to the success of the workshops and their impact are the networking opportunities and mentoring support offered by XFE to every participant for 12 months after attending. This crucial support offers access to regional peer-to-peer support within the XFE community.

Ren Kapur MBE, XFE CEO and founder, commented: ‘Working with the OA to provide enterprise training to former officers, and also their spouses, is a breakthrough collaboration and we are delighted that Lee Holloway and the OA share our passion for business skills as an essential part of post-military career development.’

Lee Holloway, chief executive officer at the OA, added: ‘We know that officers have the skills and experiences to launch their own successful businesses or become freelance consultants. I am delighted we’re working with XFE to develop this potential, which helps us support business enterprise and further extends our employment services provision.’

The next XFE workshop for the OA will take place in London on 26 June 2019, and is open to serving and former officers as well as their spouses. Additional workshops will be held later in the year.

To find out more about XFE and the workshops it offers, visit For more on the work of the OA, see

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