Facebook Gives Boost to Forces Business Owners - X-Forces Enterprise
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Facebook Gives Boost to Forces Business Owners

More than 300 Armed Forces veterans, including many X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) beneficiaries,  attended a digital skills workshop run by Facebook, in partnership with XFE, in London on Wednesday 26th June 2019.

During the event, titled ‘Boost With Facebook For The Armed Forces Community’, the social media firm hosted a series of panel discussions and training sessions on the marketing capability available through Facebook and Instagram can support the growth of their businesses.

The day was hosted by former veteran Andy Mihalop, now working for Facebook as Marketing Programme Lead EMEA.

XFE founder and CEO Ren Kapur MBE appeared on a panel discussion about entrepreneurship, and was asked for advice for those embarking on business ownership.  Delegates were keen to hear what key nuggets of advice the pane could provide. Ren Kapur’s tips included:

  • Know exactly why you are going into business and what impact you are prepared for it to make on your life. That way you can be clear on where your “Red Lines” are, eg:
    • impact on your finances, are you prepared to put your home on the line?
    • impact on the way you and your family live your lives.

Give this careful consideration and be honest with yourself, because if not these will most certainly become pressure points.

  • Understand your product / service and the relationship between its’ likely life cycle and how that relates to the amount of investment you need to put in and profit you expect to make – and when.  If it’s going to take you 10 years to break even and start to recoup any invested money and the product or service is likely to become defunct / superseded – a common theme with modern technology – then think again! Don’t design tomorrow’s fax machine expecting it to be around in its current form in 10 years’ time. Think through your plans and business case carefully!
  • Take the time you need to do your research. Skimp on this and you will come to regret it. Get to understand your market. Seek advice and support. You cannot possibly expect to know it all, and you most certainly won’t! You are not in this on your own. The Armed Forces is a fantastic community. Draw on it for the support you may need and to bounce ideas off. Setting up a business can feel lonely otherwise.

The day included a number of inspirational presentations including amputee Simon Harmer, Nick Goldsmith, founder of Hidden Valley Bushcraft, Michael Coates, co-founder of Combat Pest Control, and Daniel Doherty, Facebook Community Manager and self-confessed Army “Brat”.

XFE founder and CEO, Ren Kapur MBE, said:

“Facebook brought together individuals from across the Armed Forces community in this purposeful event, and each of us went away enthused by the power of social media and its important role in business.

“I was delighted to see so many XFE beneficiaries embracing the opportunity and we hope this is the first of many collaborations with Facebook.”

Facebook also signed the Armed Forces Covenant on the day, thereby pledging to provide veterans with equal opportunities.

Steve Hatch, Facebook’s managing director for Northern Europe, said the event was an opportunity for the company to grow its already vibrant veteran community as well as its work with small businesses as part of the company “mission” to bring people together.  Facebook has also pledged to train one million people in digital skills by 2020.  Mr Hatch said:

“It has been a great privilege to hear the inspiring stories of the many of the veterans we have worked with on this programme, who have either set up their own businesses since leaving the armed forces or are looking to get started on their own entrepreneurial journey.

“I am immensely proud to be signing the Armed Forces Covenant, and want to thank the UK’s veteran community for their service, on behalf of everyone here at Facebook.”

Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Chief of Defence People at the Ministry of Defence added:

“It is an honour to be signing the Armed Forces Covenant with Facebook, who are taking great steps not only to ensure veterans are supported in the workplace, but that the wider community of Armed Forces personnel can access digital skills training to help them achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions.”



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