Our Founder and CEO, Ren Kapur, has received her MBE today following recognition in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List.
Ren Kapur’s services to Entrepreneurship were recognised earlier this year with an MBE, which she collected at an Investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle today on behalf of the X-Forces community.
Ren Kapur said ahead of the ceremony, “I am delighted to receive this honour on behalf of my dedicated team, all of our X-Forces Entrepreneurs and Businesses across the country and our Partners that offer us invaluable support to do the work that we do.”
In 3 ½ years X-Forces has supported over 700 businesses to launch and reached several thousand individuals from the Armed Forces community exploring enterprise and self-employment.
Ren and the X-Forces team work with each individual to help them make informed decisions about self-employment, and to offer each and every person access to enterprise skills. These skills are taken forward into both self-employment and employment. In self-employment, from start-up to scale-up alongside a network of mentors, coaches and friends from the X-Forces family. It is this dedication and passion to support the Armed Forces community that inspires Ren and her team’s work, and has shaped the lasting impact that Ren continues to have on Enterprise in the UK.
The success of X-Forces Businesses, with a headline success rate at over 90%, is a testament to the character of those from the Armed Forces that embarked on their Enterprise journey. “Each unique X-Forces business demonstrates the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the Armed Forces, we are incredibly lucky to work with this inspiring community, and they will always be the core of our achievements, and this Honour is a testament to them” Ren Kapur.
The X-Forces model that Ren created in 2012 also draws strength from its collaboration with big business and government. Ren has championed a new CSR, a vison that has inspired many of X-Forces key corporate supporters: NatWest, CISCO, DELL EMC and Interserve. The support of big business ensures that small business can thrive and grow, as suppliers and mentees of established brands. The resources and sway these organisations hold in industry will strengthen small business’s sustainability for years ahead, Ren adds, “Thank you to the organisations that, through their Armed Forces Covenant pledge, have engaged with X-Forces and helped us to make a real difference to small business in the UK economy.”
Ren and X-Forces have also had the ongoing support of government and Lord Young, former advisor to the Prime Minister, as the organisation’s Patron, “The X-Forces scheme is a fantastic programme. The skills that Service personnel can bring to business are a great asset to the UK and it is important that they have every chance to start their own firm; or to contribute to the growth of existing firms. Initiatives like X-Forces celebrate and help to grow our national entrepreneurial spirit, which will play a crucial role in driving our return to long-term economic growth.”
A special thank you is also shared with the Military Charities that work alongside X-Forces to offer enterprise education, training and mentoring to members of the community that would otherwise be unable to access these opportunities. Amongst these are Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Blind Veterans UK. John Geden, owner of Sinah Common Honey and Help for Heroes beneficiary said, “I will always be grateful for the advice, help, support and encouragement that Ren and her team have given me. X Forces have given me a lot of confidence and supported me every step of the way. I also know that they are there continually and can help me as I grow and develop, providing me with a sounding board for my ideas.”
1 in 7 people in the UK are currently self-employed, and this is a number that will only increase as careers become increasingly varied between intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. Ren and X-Forces are at the forefront of developing enterprise education and business support to help individuals succeed in business whatever their age and experience.