One of Britain’s leading business groups has pledged to support veterans looking to set up or expand their own business…

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has become the latest organisation to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant at their annual conference in London.

The IoD’s Covenant pledges also include allowing veterans to access their organisation’s expert network of advice and resources for entrepreneurs, joining with the MOD on forging stronger links between business and the military, and encouraging businesses to help the small number of veterans who struggle with mental health issues.

Defence Minister Earl Howe attended the annual Institute of Directors Open House conference in Pall Mall to countersign the Armed Forces Covenant with Director General Stephen Martin. He said: “The Institute of Directors signing the Armed Forces Covenant sends a powerful message to its members and those in the wider economy that they are a Forces-friendly organisation, helping to attract high-quality Service leavers who bring with them a wide range of skills and experience.

Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said: “I’m extremely proud to signing the Armed Forces Covenant on behalf of the Institute of Directors, and I look forward to the IoD’s continued engagement with the Ministry of Defence. In signing the Covenant, the IoD will help to ensure that the immense contribution the armed forces make to our society and to business does not go unrecognised.

“Not only do service personnel provide the security and freedom that underpins our lives, but they also have the potential to become great assets to the UK economy, bringing the wide array of skills and experience they have gained to businesses activity the country.

“In becoming a signatory to the covenant, we will use the tools at our disposal to highlight the many benefits of employing those coming out of the armed forces. In keeping with our Royal Charter, we will also look to help budding ex-services entrepreneurs to establish the networks, confidence, and skills they need to start and scale their own businesses.”

The IOD will open its 2,500 members strong IoD99 networking and social events to ex-service entrepreneurs and champion stronger links between the business community and the Armed Forces, showcasing those that highlight the benefits to employers of taking on ex-Service personnel.