Secretary of State supporting Soldiering On Awards | X-Forces Enterprise
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Secretary of State, Sir Michael Fallon, Earl Howe, and Lord Dannatt support Soldiering On Awards

The launch of the 2018 Soldiering on Awards, took place at the Ministry of Defence on Thursday 15 June 2017.

The event was sponsored by Thales, and in attendance were Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP, Awards Patron the Rt Hon the Earl Howe PC, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and Minister of State (Ministry of Defence), and General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC.

X-Forces is pleased to announce its official partnership with the Soldiering On Awards by introducing three new awards to celebrate businesses set up by members and families of those who have served in our Armed Forces. The new award categories will acknowledge:

  • those who have started their start up journey
  • those who are scaling up their businesses
  • those whose business has made a positive impact on their community.

At the inception of X-Forces, it was the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon in his role as the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, who supported X-Forces to change policy for start-up funding. X-Forces CEO, Ren Kapur MBE said,

It was fantastic to reminisce with the Secretary of State for Defence. In 2013, Sir Michael supported us during his role as Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, and here we are today just four years later with 1,000 businesses supported. We are both lucky and proud to have had this level of engagement from inception to four years on.

The Soldiering On Awards provide an instrumental platform to celebrate the success of our armed forces community across many sectors. In launching the X Forces Business Awards in partnership with Soldiering On Awards, we are recognising the courage and skills of individuals from the armed forces community who have taken the leap into entrepreneurship.

We would also like to thank our partners who attended the event for their ongoing support: Cisco, Royal Bank of Scotland, Balfour Beatty, The Military Mutual, Officers’ Association and Curzon and Company.

Towards business success: Steve’s story

In 2016, RAF veteran Steve arrived for the first day of an X-Forces Business Experience programme hoping to turn his part-time massage work into a business he could be proud of.

Steve defines the character and values of our Armed Forces. Despite losing his vision in 2004, he maintained his entrepreneurial spirit and determination to become self-sufficient again – professionally as well as physically.

Entrepreneur, Steve Parnell telling his story at the X-Forces Third Anniversary event

Entrepreneur, Steve Parnell at the X-Forces Third Anniversary event. © X-Forces

With the support of X-Forces and his wife Pippa, Steve found new motivation to take his business to the next level by refreshing his marketing, services and business confidence. This achievement is something to be celebrated! Up until now a gap had become clear for awards categories that celebrate the business achievements of those that have given so much to our country.

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