Forces in Mind Trust is delighted to announce that a contract has been awarded to the Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) at the University of Warwick (in partnership with QinetiQ and X-Forces) to conduct an 18-month study into self-employment and the Armed Forces Community…

The Forces in Mind Trust has commissioned this research using a competitive tender process for an award worth £201,455.

Self-employment among the Armed Forces Community has been under researched, including the identification of any differences between the general population in motivations and routes into self-employment, as well as the barriers and support which can lead to subsequent success or failure.

This research will consider the self-employment of ex-Service and Reserve Force personnel, as well as the spouses of Service and ex-Service personnel, to fill the current gap in empirical evidence and contribute to policy making and service delivery.

The key objectives of the research project are to provide a thorough and comprehensive review of the Armed Forces Community and self-employment to:

  • Identify the characteristics of, and factors determining, successful self-employment;
  • Identify aspects unique to that Community compared to the general population;
  • Draw conclusions on the value of self-employment; and
  • Recommend how to enhance the contribution of self-employment to the overall employment outcome.

The study, led by Dr Clare Lyonette, Dr Sally-Anne Barnes and Dr David Owen of the IER will be supported by Natalie Fisher, Karen Newell, and Siobhan Frost from QinetiQ and Martin Wing and Ren Kapur MBE from X-Forces.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “There is no existing evidence about the UK Armed Forces Community and self-employment, consequently we just don’t know where it features in our mission to enable successful and sustainable transition. This research will, for the first time, provide a sound evidence base allowing policy makers and those supporting the Armed Forced Community who are considering self-employment, to better understand the challenges and successes of this group.”

Clare Lyonette, from IER said: “We are really looking forward to working on a project which aims to have long-term impacts on members of the Armed Forces community who are in the process of a major employment transition. We also hope to identify ways to support members of this community who are considering a move to self-employment in the future”.