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Enterprise Learning: gateway to opportunity
In the second part of our new series on Enterprise Learning, Lt Colonel Ren Kapur MBE, CEO and Founder of X-Forces Enterprise and Chair of the Soldiering on Awards, tells us why enterprise skills are at the centre of everything she does. And, despite the current uncertainty we are experiencing, she tells us why Enterprise Learning should by no means be considered a luxury …
As the lockdown progressed, millions of us found our working hours and salaries cut, some of us were furloughed – some still are – and some of us were told about the restructures and redundancies we will face in all parts of the UK economy over the coming months. Because of this, for many of us our career and life plans will have changed for ever, but instead of uncertainty, why not see opportunity?
In the early days of X-Forces Enterprise (XFE), within the Armed Forces community entrepreneurship was viewed as a luxury, a ‘nice to have’; if you were an entrepreneur – you were the one spending most of the day on the golf course (the higher the rank, the firmer the view)!
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Running your own business does give you freedom to work when you want, but it also comes with responsibility and accountability.
Enterprise, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are vital, lifelong skills, which will be developed throughout a career; they give the tools for strategy, adaptation and finance. For example, taking the step to work for yourself should be carefully thought out. There are a huge number of factors that will influence your decision to ‘take the plunge’ but, in my opinion, here are the most important things to consider:
- You should understand your potential business at a granular level.
- Expect the initial stages to be as intense as a boot camp, introducing you to the commercial world and how the economy will influence your business.
- Plan carefully to save yourself from the heartache of failure as much as possible.
Did we ever imagine we would need to adapt our lives as dramatically and quickly as we have had to do in the last few months? I don’t think anyone ever even contemplated having to live cut off from friends and family for months on end at the beginning of 2020 let alone facing another rumoured COVID peak.
We didn’t see the 2008 financial crisis coming, and we had to adapt and reskill then. I believe that business knowledge and experience is fundamental to financial freedom and contributing to the bottom line; whether you’re the entrepreneur and ultimately responsible for it, or the intrapreneur and it is someone else’s responsibility. Enterprise skills and life skills, and learning about economics, business, networks and how they all work in unison is not a luxury. The skills you will develop will help you find out where you fit, and help you to build and realise your personal potential where possible.
Enterprise, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are vital, lifelong skills, which will be developed throughout a career
There are huge numbers of business networks and business journals, business training is available, as are business knowledge exchanges and mentoring initiatives to join or learn more about.
For some people is it is as simple as moving from reliance to resilience and knowing there is a pathway to do so.
Click here to read part 1 of our Enterprise Learning series.
More about Enterprise Learning
To find out more about Enterprise Learning, visit the XFE website.
XFE is the UK’s largest provider of support to the ex-military in business. Support is available to Service leavers, veterans, reservists, spouses, widows, cadets and dependants over 18.
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