Army Spouse sets up Online Support Platform for Forces Community - X-Forces Enterprise
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Army Spouse sets up Online Support Platform for Forces Community

Natalie credits the XFE workshop with providing her with the push she needed

Natalie Trezise had spent enough time as a Services spouse – seeing families pack, move and settle down in new posts – to know that there was a very real gap in the Armed Forces Community for a localised information service which families could tap into when moving into new communities.  Natalie’s partner is an officer in the Army and as his spouse, she has firsthand experience of the effort required to manage moving a home and a family. Every new posting or relocation, whether by choice or mandated by a role change, meant starting from scratch and that is never easy on the family, especially the spouse. Natalie took this in her stride as she learnt to go with the flow.
As she said, “It was this feature of life as a Forces wife that helped me to create YourHomePatch. I wanted to create a resource which would help Forces families cope with the perpetual change and upheaval of relocations by providing one constant, go-to source of information about the  new home patch.”
Natalie’s gut instinct triggered a business idea based upon the feeling that “it just must be easier than this” to move into a new patch.  However, it wasn’t plain sailing and as she described it, there were obstacles which kept her from taking that next step and transforming her ‘hair-brained’ idea into a viable business case.
“I procrastinated setting up the business mostly because of my self-doubt…as well as a gap in my technical know-how with the design and development of the website.”
She attended an X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) workshop – “Empowering Through Enterprise” – which helped her to get her idea off the ground.  With the support of an XFE mentor, she recently launched – the online one-stop-shop which helps forces families settle into new postings by providing information on camp information and local amenities.
Natalie credits the XFE workshop with providing her with the push she needed, “The workshop was a catalyst – I learnt a whole array of new skills that I so desperately needed to make the first step into setting up the website. XFE supported me with a mentor as well as the three fantastic days on the workshop. These group sessions were invaluable and I always feel that XFE are there at the end of the phone/email.”
Ian Heath, Director UKI Alliances at Dell EMC, was Natalie’s mentor from XFE. He was introduced to her by Ren Kapur, XFE CEO and Founder.
As he said, “Natalie is the spouse of a serving officer and had a great idea to set up ‘Facebook for the patch’.  Having previously spoken to Natalie, Ren suggested that I should mentor her, as Natalie would benefit from my work experience in technology and also my wife’s work with social media. The mentoring was great fun. Natalie had a great idea that just needed focusing to turn it into a great solution. She also needed to build up her confidence to make it a reality.  We spent a few hours together on calls and this helped her to take it from a great idea into a reality.  It’s been great supporting members of the Armed Forces family and to have worked on such an exciting project.”
Yourhomepatch launched in Sandhurst and Minley, and Natalie is working to get Aldershot Garrison up and running next. Her advice to others thinking of setting up a business is simple,
“Speak to people! Don’t be afraid to ask people for help. Call up big companies and ask them your burning questions, because even if you can’t afford their services, 9 times out of 10, they are only too happy to assist with free advice, or point you in the direction of someone who can provide what you need, within your budget.”

If you are considering self-employment like Natalie, we run a series of free Self-Employment Discovery Workshops. Find out more via

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