A CHARITY that helps retired servicemen and women set up businesses is expanding its services into south Wiltshire.

Heropreneurs supports new businesses that have been started by those leaving the armed forces, helping them to establish contacts, get advice and mentoring, and secure start-up funds.

With wide-scale redundancies hitting the armed forces this year, founder and managing director of the charity Richard Morris said it was important to increase the services on offer in south Wiltshire and is working closely with Wiltshire Council and 43 Wessex Brigade, based at Tidworth.

“We know that there will be a significant number of armed forces redundancies in 2013 so we need to be prepared for this,” he said.

“We want to boost skills and self-employment, to improve training, knowledge and self-belief. The majority of ex-military people we’ve met have integrity, energy, passion, leadership skills, adaptability and determination to start up in business.”

New companies that have already been helped by Heropreneurs include a yoga studio, removals firm, a business that offers James Bond-themes weekend breaks and a business intelligence firm. The charity is now seeking business captains to act as mentors for the emerging businesses.

“Most of these people need advice and mentoring – they are hungry for it, and to get it in very concentrated form is critical to their future success,” said Mr Morris.

“We’re especially keen to hear from people who developed their own businesses as well as those who have achieved success in their careers and are keen to share their experience and knowledge.

“All Heropreneurs’ beneficiaries are provided with mentors to work alongside them as they develop their understanding, personal capabilities and their business plans.

“There are entrepreneurs in the armed forces community in Wiltshire – they just don’t know it yet. Success stories are everywhere – they just haven’t been written yet. We must be the people who release that potential but we need the help of others to help us do it.”

To find out more visit heropreneurs.co.uk.