The August issue of Pathfinder International magazine sees the inclusion of Vetentrepreneurs – A celebration of Veteran Owned Business in conjunction with The Officer’s Association.

Inside we feature a range of companies successfully run by former military personnel from Afghan rugs to Vodka. We hope military service leavers and fellow veterans take some motivation from what can be achieved on leaving the forces, whilst of course we hope the military community and wider public community continue to support these businesses below.

Armed Forces CVs

Leaving the Forces? Even Heroes Need a Strong CV! We all have to leave the Armed Forces, and, unless we are extremely lucky, usually need to find gainful employment as a Civilian. Competition is tough, not least because of the economic situation, but also because “civvies” have been out there all their lives; they’ve often handled jobsearch and redundancy multiple times. For us, at least initially, it may be the first time for both. To compete on a level playing field we need an incredibly strong, focused CV that sells us – HARD – and it needs to do that in “Civilianese” or “Civvy-Speak”. There is only one Professional CV Service that can do this properly, because it is owned and run by one of YOU. Stephen (Steve) Thompson is a former infantry WO1 who has successfully made the transition, understands the language, and knows the marketplace. Intimately. He writes all Armed Forces CVs personally and is also Managing Director of Top Pro CVs and Professional CV Writing Services, which are industry-leading providers. Do yourself a favour. Get ahead of the game. Speak to Steve TODAY on (01484) 840485, or email him at

The Afghan Rug Shop James Wilthew founded The Afghan Rug Shop in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire in 2015. He imports handmade rugs and kilims direct from the weaver’s markets in the Northern Provinces, direct to his shop. One of his 5 operational deployments was a 6-month tour in the North of Afghanistan in 2003. Whilst providing security for reconstruction, his passion for the country and people grew as did a passion for their rugs, “I bought a lot of rugs at the time never thinking I would have another chance to do so, there was no proper internet or social media back then” said James. However, 12 years later he was able to track down the friend he used to buy rugs from after a few months of cold-calls and online searching, they rekindled their friendship and the business was born. “Traditionally you have to pay a lot of middle-men across the region, combined with a lot of associated logistical issues, which is why we established our own routes and processes. Most of my business is managed from a Smartphone and a handful of Apps, we bypass all the traditional problems of control and communication”. James added “It’s so important for the region to have greater opportunities to export these stunning traditionally produced rugs. Security remains an issue, but that shouldn’t prevent growth and the more people that can support businesses like mine, the quicker the Afghan economy will stabilise and modernise”. James recognises that offering an alternative income that supports traditional crafts is vital, giving opportunity for many families to earn a good income and prosper away from the opium and arms trade. He regularly ships his products worldwide and can be found at

C & D Access Training

C&D Access is a provider of Rope Access, Inspection, Integrity, Maintenance and Repair services, to the Renewables, Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Infrastructure and Marine industries. Founded in 2014, C&D Access offer a comprehensive range of inspection and maintenance services, including 3rd party inspection and engineering services during design, fabrication, installation and life cycle management to clients worldwide, with a central Office based in Tyneside. Rapid set-up and dismantling with minimal disruption, makes rope access a very versatile solution to accessing awkward and difficult to reach structures. Professional development of our Team is at heart of everything we do. C&D Access are constantly striving to do better, bringing our knowledge and expertise to industry to make a safer and a more productive work environment. Living our core values, continuously revising business strategies to align our services to an ever-changing market, we set up our partner company Raptor UAS in 2017 and C&D Access Training in 2020, brining into industry safer techniques and more qualifies individual, who can prosper further in their careers. We pride ourselves on creating customer success and investing in people to achieve our maximum potential. C&D Access will be expanding training services in 2020 and 2021 and promoting renewables business in the Asian market.

Forces Car Hire

A serial veteran entrepreneur! • Dave Peel 73 years young RAF Veteran (1963 – 1999) • SSAFA Volunteer as Secretary SSAFA Doncaster and Thorne Division • Awarded the MBE in 1991 for services to the RAF Photographic Trade and RAF Representative Football. • Online Entrepreneurial career started in 1996, 2years before Google was officially launched in 1998 and before social media had been dreamed of. A time of print media and word of mouth marketing. A brief resume: 1996 – started MPM Travel specialising in Algarve Warm Weather Training for athletes and sports teams. Plus, Algarve villa and apartment rentals. The business was sold in 2008. 1996/97 – started ForcesDiscount.Com ( the first online Forces discount directory. This was sold in 2012 and continues to this day. 2007 – started Forces Car Hire ( which has evolved in to a one stop travel portal. Forces Car Hire is proud to support SSAFA and Blesma. (https:// Forces Car Hire finds worldwide Travel Deals in one online place, allowing you to search and book for CarHire at 30,000 locations. For Flights and Hotels, you search and book across a range of travel websites including: For Hotels – Expedia, ZenHotels, TripCom, HotelsCom, SnapTravel and more For Flights – MyHolidays, TripCom, Gotogate, FlightNetwork, SuperSaver and more A recent addition to complete the whole travel experience is access to discounted UK Airport Parking.

The Veterans Forge CIC

Therapeutic blacksmithing days run by ex and serving forces FIND US ON FACEBOOK CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE Email: Contact us 07565405103 / 01929481681

Heroes Drinks

Heroes Drinks Company is a ground breaking social enterprise, producing a range of luxury multi-award-winning spirits. Flagship product Heroes Vodka is a superpremium vodka made with demineralised Scottish water for a crystal clear super smooth finish. Since its launch into the market in 2017, Heroes Vodka has secured the largest listing of its kind, listing in 353 Asda stores nationwide and has also gained recognition for its quality, securing multiple awards, leading to support from celebrities and VIP’s, including The Royal Family. As well as their own label products, the company produce white label bespoke gin for corporate clients, including military clubs the Victory Services Club, London and The Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh. Founder and veteran Chris Gillan discharged from the military in 2010 with an injury that ended his career and a property flood which left him homeless. The support he received from our military charities inspired him to create Heroes Drinks Company, with its core aim to generate support for our military community. All profits from sales of Heroes Vodka support Britain’s military community with 20% donated to partner charities, the RNRMC, ABF The Soldiers Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund. Remaining profits support employment and training opportunities for veterans and military spouses. Follow their mission:

Joint Force Alba Joint Force Alba is the only Scottish ex-military recruitment consultancy. We support Scotland based organisations to recruit ex-Forces into their workforce in one of two ways. Joint Force Alba can provide candidates for a specific client vacancy and if the client hires our candidates, they pay us a finder’s fee. Or we can help organisations who want to recruit ex-Forces directly, by providing a consultancy programme that puts the systems, processes and policies in place to enable businesses to recruit ex-Forces themselves. Typically, Joint Force Alba’s candidates are looking for roles in engineering, health & safety, project management, IT and communications and logistics/distribution. The director for Joint Force Alba, Emma Davies, recognised that the support for ex-military looking to settle in Scotland was not as extensive as for southern England. The inspiration came when her husband, a British Army veteran, struggled to find work commensurate with his experience when he left the Army. Emma herself was an Army Officer for 13 years, during which time she served on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and exercises across the UK, Germany and the USA. On the civilian side, she has 15 years’ experience in HR and recruitment, both in-house and agency, and is a Chartered member of the CIPD. Emma is a trustee of Lothian’s Veterans Centre, supporting this small, local military charity with HR and employability expertise. She is also the Scottish ambassador for X-Forces Enterprise, supporting fellow Veterans start their journey into self-employment. @JointForceAlba for Twitter

The Lovely Chalet Company

Rich and Julie Love recently launched ‘The Lovely Chalet Company’ ( offering catered and self-catered holiday accommodation in the French alpine resort of La Plagne. Their chalet in La Plagne 1800 offers catered accommodation with five guest bedrooms it sleeps 13. Their three-bedroom self-catered apartment in Plagne Montalbert has a double bedroom, a twin room and a bunk bed room, sleeping 6, with 3 single sofa beds in the living room allowing a maximum occupancy of 9. Both Rich and Julie are Veterans with 60 years’ service between them! Rich was an Air Engineer and Julie a Logistics Officer in the Royal Navy, giving them a wealth of experience perfect for their exciting new venture. Rich has spent over a decade on the organising committee for the Royal Navy Alpine Championships and this association led him to be invited to be a Technical Delegate for GB Skiing. More recently he has officiated during Combined Services Ski Racing and he was Runner Up in the RN Sports Awards 2017 in the ‘Sports Official of the Year’ Category. Rich and Julie have skied extensively in La Plagne for 15 years, they know the resort intimately so they are ideally placed to help you enjoy a wonderful holiday. They have holidayed with family and friends during the beautiful summer months, and will be offering accommodation in both the Winter and Summer season. Find us at or follow us on Facebook (@thelovelychalet) and Instagram (thelovelychaletcompany). We look forward to welcoming you in La Plagne!

Your North

Jamie and Kelly Farr are a husband and wife team, who have both recently left the Royal Air Force after serving a combined 41 years! Over the last 5 years, they have been on a pretty epic self-development journey and discovered their purpose lay in helping others. They moved to South Wales in July 2019 with their 11 year old daughter, and also welcomed a new baby daughter a few weeks later. Passionate about mental wellness, human performance and wellbeing, they are fascinated about ‘why we do what we do’ and love to instigate conversations that pique curiosity to encourage people to question the ‘why?’ and the ‘why not?’ YourNorth offers a variety of training, including accredited First Aid for Mental Health training, wellbeing workshops and tailored coaching packages. Their goal is to educate and empower others so they have the confidence and ability to unlock their potential and become the best version of themselves. Mental wellbeing training is now more important than ever and they are genuinely concerned that people’s mental health has declined during these challenging times, due to changes in routine and lack of face to face support. They launched during lockdown and quickly adapted their business to deliver accredited mental health training online. Their courses are delivered via distance learning, which makes the training super flexible and accessible. Even though the company is relatively new, they are both experienced and engaging trainers & coaches who aim to create a relaxed, positive environment conducive to learning and one that allows for personal growth. They have proudly signed the Armed Forces Covenant and offer 10% discount on all their training courses for serving personnel, veterans and their families. If you would like more information or to enquire about course bookings, please email 

Check us out online at

Dead Mammoth Coffee Company

Prior to leaving the Army I thought about what I could do as a side hustle as there were so many veteran businesses popping up. Dead Mammoth Coffee Company was born through an idea. Through my love for fresh, great tasting, small batch coffee, roasted from quality beans from ethical sources. As a long standing member of the armed forces, I was always subjected to ration pack coffee, its weak, bitter and leaves a foul taste in your mouth. I thought to myself, why shouldn’t we have great tasting coffee while out on exercise or ops? So I decided to make something based on my experiences, and the feedback of those around me. I believe coffee is for everyone. You should enjoy it fresh, not re-bagged and sold but made to order from the highest quality raw beans (visit Beanology). After years of research, fine tuning the process, and cupping different blends, Dead Mammoth Coffee Company was born. DMCC is veteran owned & operated. We’re dedicated to bringing you superior flavours with our raw coffee beans imported from Columbia and Brazil. We decided, after many hours of roasting and blending, on one blend using both origins, delivering 3 roasts as whole beans or burr ground to your preference. We also do a coffee bag range, fresh coffee in a bag perfect your adventures / exercises. Please use code SPUD10 for 10% off your first order. Instagram: @deadmammothcoffeecompany Facebook: dead mammoth coffee company

UK Military Cards

UK Military Cards was established only this year by former reservist Liam Grieves, who is also a graphic designer by trade. Liam added, “I noticed there was a gap in the market for specially designed military themed cards, mugs and now we have introduced facemasks for COVID19! We have a range of designs for all three branches of the military and I am happy to take bespoke orders too.” 10% of the proceeds from each sale goes towards military community interest company – Veterans in Crisis. Check out the range of designs at

Your Productive PA

Your Productive PA offers virtual PA/Admin/ Business support to CEOs, Entrepreneurs & Consultants, to help them grow their business, reduce stress caused by admin overload, and achieve a great work/life balance. Outsourcing the non-income generating tasks to a Virtual Assistant enables clients to focus their time on the core operations of their business and achieve business growth and greater revenue. There are many support packages available, which are flexible and tailored to support the needs of the client. Your Productive PA was launched in March 2019 and already has many clients, over half are military veterans. Your Productive PA was awarded UK Best Newcomer VA Runner-up at the UK VA Awards in London in February 2020. Who am I? I’m Becky and I discovered my passion for being a PA while serving in the Royal Navy. I continued my career as a PA/EA in the corporate world after leaving the RN, and in 2018 I made the decision to become a VA, on completion of my VA training with VACT. Contact Becky: Email:

Omniscient Safety Innovations

Omniscient Safety Innovations is an award winning Health & Safety Solutions organisation, specialising in Workplace a Mental Health Solutions & First Aid for Mental Health Courses. A Veteran owned business based in Aberdeenshire Scotland. Providing complete solutions that maintain compliance, reduce costs, accident & absentee rates while improving morale, productivity and wellbeing Managing Director Brett Townsley BCAc, has vast experience in Operational Health & Safety projects. Supporting businesses of all sizes, both SME’s and multinational. Brett is a previous winner of The Pride of Aberdeen Award for Outstanding Contribution to Health & Safety, IDCA Safety Award and a recipient of the BCAc at the House of Lords. OSI has a team of experienced, competent professionals in all aspects of Health & Safety and Mental Health Solutions, with combined experience of over 30 years. We support organisations to remain compliant with Health & Safety Law, reducing business costs, preventing accidents, lowering lost workdays, increasing productivity and morale through innovation. Our services can be tailored to meet any requirements and are available to provide project or business support on site or remotely. OSI has recently won contracts working with NnG offshore windfarms, Stepchange in Safety (the standard bearer of offshore safety requirements) RWG and MISS. For more information please see:

Sin Eaters Guild

Sin Eaters Guild was born out of a desire to promote the veteran community and the mindset that sets us apart. Only through adversity can a person grow and we have embraced that fully. The experiences we have shared on operations around the globe whether positive or negative, cannot be bought or faked, only earned through hard work and suffering. Today many people are so disconnected from the hard realities of the World that they will never understand our community, or want to. No problem. We do this hard work because we are capable of it and so those incapable never have to. We should be proud but humble. This community has grown to include those non veterans who embrace our mindset. Whether they be first responders or civilians who understand that this dangerous and unfashionable work must be done. Regardless of background… You Are Your Actions – You are Responsible for You Our logo is the twelfth tarot card, ‘The Hanged Man’. The hanged man is said to have voluntarily given up himself for the good of others and in doing so gained wisdom. Sin Eaters were said to take on the sins of recently deceased individuals by eating a ritual meal. This would then allow the deceased person to enter Heaven. Our interpretation is not religious, but a recognition that in hard times good people may have to embrace darkness in order to fight it, so that others are safe. @sineatersguild – instagram

Tactical Coffee

It is the obsession for the best cup of coffee that got me started on this journey. I have always had a passion for good coffee and after completing my first coffee course in early 2015 I decided to study coffee, its history and origins. I have had many a cup of guard room coffee and drank too much compo coffee on operations and exercise to know what bad coffee is. Tactical Coffee takes great pleasure in sourcing the best sustainable coffees from around the world and designing unique blends with our partner coffee roaster to enable us to offer you the best coffee available. We only use the finest, specially selected, washed and polished coffee beans in our coffee blends. All our coffees are traceable, Rainforest Alliance and Fair-trade certified. Our roaster is also a veteran and employs veterans, the company has been roasting coffee beans since 1958 using traditional methods and equipment. Our coffee, along with a selection of coffee making products and merchandise are predominantly sold via our online store and at events, we have posted our blends all across the United Kingdom, Germany, Cyprus, Iraq, Afghanistan, America, Canada and Estonia. We currently stock Nine Coffee Blends, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Ugly Five Zero, Tactical Advantage, Caffeinated Violence, 1441, Sergeant Alker and our Decaf Coffee ‘Fortitude’ as well HC500 Hot Chocolate and our very own Colombian Instant Coffee.

Virtual Assistant Coaching And Training (VACT)

VACT Limited is the UKs Leading Virtual Assistant Training Company offering a variety of CPD accredited training courses and workshops, both free and paid to help aspiring, new and experienced Virtual Assistants to launch, create and grow a successful VA business. A Virtual Assistant is a highly skilled, independent professional who remotely provides administrative, technical and business support to individuals or businesses and is a perfect career for military veterans or as a portable career for military spouses. VACT Limited has been running Virtual Assistant training courses since 2003, and in that time has helped thousands of Virtual Assistants to get set up. Since 2014, we have worked with civilians, military veterans and military spouses to create their Virtual Assistant business. We have been voted “Best VA Training Provider in the UK” for the past 4 years for both the quality of the training and impact we have on the industry. All the VACT training courses and mentoring options are designed to support and fit around you, your current work commitments, your individual circumstances and your budget. Contact: Amanda Johnson

Yes Mortgage Services

Yes Mortgages Services Limited are independent Mortgage Consultants made up of a team of veterans, reservists, military spouses and civilians. Known as whole of market broker, the team are experts in helping you to source the most suitable mortgage and don’t charge you a broker fee. Arranging a mortgage or organising personal finances can be extremely time consuming or stressful and so we aim to make it as painless as possible. Irrespective of whether you are looking to buy your first home, move house, re-mortgage an existing property, or looking to protect your family from the unpredictability that life throws at it or protect your income if you are unable to work due to accident or ill health – we will support you. Yes Mortgages Services Limited want to build a meaningful, long-term relationship with you that is based on an understanding of your situation today and in the future post leaving the service. Contact: Andrew Johnson

Keep Safe Solutions

Are you looking to enhance your prospects of employment in the world of health & safety or just simply looking to bolster your CV? Well the IOSH Managing Safely course is exactly the course for you and will do just that. A well recognised qualification throughout industry and within H&S. So if you’re interested why not join us at Keep Safe Solutions Ltd for one of our fully accredited IOSH Managing Safely courses in Liverpool for only £375. Who are we? We are veteran owned Health and Safety (H&S) Company based in Liverpool that offer H&S training and consultancy across the UK. To see what we can offer you check out our website at The course is 3 days and fully inclusive of all course fees such as course booklet, exam fees, certification and includes lunch & refreshments throughout. We will also offer a further 15% discount to serving forces and veterans taking the price to an unbeatable £318.75. If you would like to book this or any other of our courses please book via website Or for more details email or call us on 0151 909 2729 or 0151 909 3961
Are you looking to enhance your prospects of employment in the world of health & safety or just simply looking to bolster your CV?
Well the IOSH Managing Safely course is exactly the course for you and will do just that.
A well recognised qualification throughout industry and within H&S.
So if you’re interested why not join us at Keep Safe Solutions Ltd for accredited IOSH Managing Safely courses in Liverpool for only £375.

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