New training drive for military vets

By Ged Henderson

21 Apr 2023

Businessacademy

A Lancashire based tech company is aiming to create hundreds of businesses for former military veterans.

Patch App UK, a home maintenance tech start-up, has launched a £250,000 academy in partnership with Community & Business Partners CIC and Burnley Football Club in the Community.

The Armed Forces Business Academy will train ex-forces servicemen and women to operate their own home maintenance businesses.

It aims to turn 119 ex-forces employees into business owners in the first five years. The academy is the first of its kind in the UK.

As part of the academy, Community & Business Partners CIC will provide veterans with two years of business mentoring and training.

For the first 12 months, they will have meaningful employment and training with Patch, and then they will take on that part of the business and operate it themselves. Burnley Football Club in the Community, which has a strong military veterans programme, will be the recruitment partner.

Patch App UK is an instant book window cleaning and outdoor home maintenance company based in Brierfield.

The pioneering tech company was co-founded by Paul White, who also helped modernise the cash-based milk delivery round with The Modern Milkman, and Innovate UK’s Young Innovator, 24-year-old Conor Walsh.

Paul, chief executive of Patch App UK, said “We’re a tech company and customers are our number one priority.

“By promoting this way of working, we’re able to ensure the services are of the highest quality, whilst supporting our ex-forces veterans with proper entrepreneurial opportunity. That’s something I’m really passionate about”.

“We didn’t want to provide our services by simply employing a workforce. That’s no longer enough in today’s society. We wanted to come up with a solution where the people delivering the services were as invested as we are.

“Effectively, we’re sharing the ownership of the operational side of our business. They’ll provide the services and we’ll run the tech.”

Paul’s grandfather, Squadron Leader Robert Ellis RAF (Retd), is the academy’s honorary president.

Jaydee Davis, operations director at Community & Business Partners, said “We’ve been supporting businesses for 30 years and we’re delighted to be leading the Armed Forces Business Academy.”

“Paul came to us with this brilliant idea to deliver their business in a completely unique way and it’s something that we’re really excited about. It could change the way of work in the future.

“As a CIC everything we do is to benefit others, so we’re delighted to be able to help those who have given so much to our country to set up their own businesses. They’ll be directly supported by some of our brilliant mentors, who are also ex-forces veterans.

Daniella Worth, veteran project co-ordinator at Burnley Football in the Community, said: “We’re really proud of our military veterans programme and when Patch came to us asking for support, we were excited to get involved.”

More information can be found at www.armedforcesbusinessacademy.co.uk

Enjoyed this? Read more from Ged Henderson

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