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Your votes can help give ex-military personnel in East Anglia a new start

PUBLISHED: 11:59 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:41 06 November 2017

The James Hehir building at the University of Suffolk, home of the Eastern Enterprise Hub.

The James Hehir building at the University of Suffolk, home of the Eastern Enterprise Hub.


Eastern Enterprise Hub bids for support for a new scheme to help ex-military personnel launch businesses.

Glenn Hoddy who is a student on the Lloyds Bank social entrepreneurs East programme at the Eastern Enterprise Hub in Ipswich Glenn Hoddy who is a student on the Lloyds Bank social entrepreneurs East programme at the Eastern Enterprise Hub in Ipswich

The Eastern Enterprise Hub – a leading provider of entrepreneurial support in the East of England, has made it through to the public vote to receive funding from the Natwest Skills and Opportunities Fund to deliver an entrepreneurs programme for ex-services personnel.

The Ipswich-Waterfront based Hub’s aspiration is to offer up to 18 spaces to ex-military personnel in the Eastern region who are keen to set up their own enterprises.

It is bidding for a share of a £2m grant pot being offered by Natwest in 2017.

Digby Chacksfield, CEO of the Eastern Enterprise Hub and School for Social Entrepreneurs East said: “To date we’ve supported over 1,150 entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs and several of these have had a career in the armed forces.

“With so many military bases in the Eastern region it would be fantastic if we could deliver a unique programme designed to empower veterans to develop their own enterprises after a career in the forces.”

Glenn Hoddy is a student at the Hub attending a 12-month Lloyds Bank sponsored School for Social Entrepreneurs East Programme.

He previously served with the Royal Navy.

With his partner Amy, he set up an alternative networking social enterprise after 5 years in the Navy. ‘I Roll Up My Sleeves’ in Needham Market, gives individuals and organisations the opportunity to network whilst helping the community by tidying a school garden or painting a community centre for instance.

Glenn said: “A career in the armed forces gives you some amazing opportunities and structured skills to cope with very stressful situations, whereas the Eastern Enterprise Hub enables entrepreneurs to help themselves.

“They bring in expert speakers to share their knowledge about subjects including social media, marketing, law and tax as well as help with developing softer skills such as networking, confidence building and resilience which are very useful when launching your own business.”

Voting closes at mid-day on Friday November 10.

To vote for the Eastern Enterprise Hub simply click on the link, scroll down to the Midlands and Eastern region and click on the vote button next to the Eastern Enterprise Hub.

If you want to support the bid vote here:

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