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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



22 May 2018

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) signed 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.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly Since the Covenant was first introduced as part of the Armed Forces Act 2011, over 2,200 organisations having pledged their support.

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. Earl Howe 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 be 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 in 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 member-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.

The IOD’s Northern Ireland membership comprises in excess of 800 directors and senior business leaders from the private, public and third sectors. Its aim is to help support business leaders through providing unparalleled access to information, advice, peer networks and learning opportunities. 

Pictured above signing the Covenant are Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors and Earl Howe, Defence Minister.