The Milspo Network CIC

The Milspo Network CIC is the parent company of all projects that fall under the ‘Milspo’ banner. This includes The InDependent Spouse podcast and The Milspo Business Network.

The Milspo Network started as The InDependent Spouse® podcast – a series of fun, informative weekly podcasts which explores the world of running a business by chatting to inspiring military entrepreneurs.

Aimed at enterprising Milspo’s, each episode is full of useful tips and amusing anecdotes, many of which will be familiar to those trying to create their successful businesses while living the ‘magnolia wall life’.

The Milspo Network launched shortly after in early 2019. It now has over 800 military spouses, partners, and other-half members connecting, networking and building successful businesses whilst living the modern military life.

Hand in hand with the community The Milspo Network delivers monthly networking groups, online training from experts and a safe space that supports. The Milspo Business Network is for ALL military spouses, partners, other-halves in business and does not discriminate on gender, rank or location.

The Milspo Network CIC is a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant and has been recognised nationally by the Women In Defence Awards, #ialso F:Entrepreneur and the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations as an advocate for military partners in business.

THE FOUNDER

Meet Jess

Jess Sands is no stranger to the challenges of starting a business. A few years ago, she was a successful full-time graphic designer, with a portfolio including Disney, Caroline Gardner and Marks & Spencer. 

But when she met her future husband, a pilot in the RAF, everything changed. Moving house every two years meant that Jess had to give up the career that she loved. After a year struggling to get employment in an often reluctant market to hire military spouses due to their transitory nature, Jess decided to develop her business Design Jessica. Since then, she has gone from strength to strength.

Jess is passionate about helping other military spouses, partners and other-halves through the same difficult transition that she made. Her business specialises in designing brands for new companies within the armed forces community.

She was initially inspired to start a business network off the back of a particularly tough few years during the Afghanistan conflict where she felt incredibly isolated. Finding her business to be a source of distraction and connection to like-minded people, she started a networking group in her first posting. 

Since then, that idea has evolved into The Milspo Business Network – an inclusive group to stop the feeling of isolation due to military life. 

She was honoured as a top 100 UK SME business with Small Business Saturday in 2018, an f:entrepreneur 2019 top UK female entrepreneur and sits on the MOD Partner Employment Steering Group as a Milspo Ambassador. 

Recent moves have seen Jess run her company from Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire…and back to Oxfordshire…and now from Central London, with the next posting expected in 2022!

When Jess isn’t running her business, and creating podcasts you can find her singing in her local Military Wives Choir, walking her rescue dog Emma, or getting bashed on a hockey pitch. She’s married to a wonderful, but very ‘operational’ RAF Officer, and lives with her two rescue cats Freya and Odin, and of course Emma.

Jess Sands
Jess SandsPodcast Host, Owner at Design Jessica, and military wife