Calendar of ‘Be your own boss’ events aimed at military leavers extended

By Anita Jaynes on 2 June, 2015

Free business start-up workshops for military leavers, spouses and partners in Wiltshire have been warmly welcomed by those attending the first sessions – with more events still to come.

The ‘Be Your Own Boss’ mornings are being held around the county’s military communities offering help, advice and inspiration to turn a spark of an idea into a viable business.

The next is at Tidworth Leisure Centre on June 17 with others planned at Bulford, Warminster, Royal Wootton Bassett and Tidworth (full list of events below).

The informal, coffee morning-style events are funded by Wiltshire Council through The Enterprise Network, which supports start-up and growing micro businesses across Swindon and Wiltshire. Workshops are led by Wiltshire Business Support Service.  The mornings are designed for military spouses and partners who may have spotted a business opportunity, or are looking to turn a hobby or creative talent into an income, or thinking of resurrecting a former career by going self-employed.

Melanie Jones, aged 46, from Horningsham in Wiltshire has started her own photography and video business and attended one of the first events. She said: “I thought the event was amazing. I took lots of notes and came away from it really inspired to develop my business.”

Covering everything from planning and researching a new business to sources of funding and business support and marketing, the events include inspirational talks from military spouses and leavers who are already running successful businesses locally.

Former RAF Wing Commander Louise Carver (pictured) from Chippenham, who retired eight years ago and now runs her own learning and development consultancy, was a speaker at the first Be Your Own Boss events at Ludgershall and Tidworth.

“The delegates had business ideas ranging from holiday cabins in Canada and tourist boat trips in the Caribbean, to lampshades and beauty therapy,” she said. “Some had previous experience of running a business while others were simply mulling over the idea and looking for some advice and inspiration. It was a lively session with lots of questions and discussion. Delegates seemed to value learning useful, practical information and it was particularly good to see mutual support networks being developed.”

Kate Forrest, manager of The Enterprise Network said: “We’re delighted to hear such excellent feedback about these events designed specifically for military spouses and partners. There is so much potential for launching new businesses at the moment, and we’re here to help right from the first lightbulb moment.”

The Be Your Own Boss events are open to military spouses or partners and include free childcare, coffee and cake.

To book a free place, visit or call 01225 402096 or email

The Be Your Own Boss events are happening at:

·        Tidworth Leisure Centre                                                                                   June 17    9.30-12.30
·        Bulford Beeches Community Centre                                                               June 24    9.30-12.30
·        Tidworth Garrison Theatre                                                                              July 8        9.30-12.30
·        Warminster Community Centre                                                                      July 15      9.30-12.30
·        Royal Wootton Bassett Manor House Enterprise Centre                           July 17      9.30-12.30
·        Tidworth Leisure Centre                                                                                  Sept 23     9.30-12.30