The Milspo® Business Network is all about connecting the community, no matter where we are posted so that we can all be inspired by each other’s successes.

Our Milspo® Team

Our volunteers come from a varied range of backgrounds and lifestyles. One thing they all have in common is their experience living and working as military SPO’s (spouses, partners and other-halves). They understand first-hand the challenges and triumphs of working for themselves or running a business while being a spouse, partner or other half of someone serving in the Armed Forces.
They’re now focusing their experience both personal and professional on helping the Milspo® Business Network grow, develop and flourish as a community for us all. They’ll be lending a hand with all elements of the network from fundraising to PR and social media.

An introduction to the team…

Abbie Sorabjee
Abbie SorabjeeEvent Co-ordinator
Abbie originally trained as an engineer before waving goodbye to the corporate world and jumping feet first into professional property investment in 2016 despite having no prior experience and virtually no capital of her own.

Since then, Abbie has worked with many private investors to build a profitable property portfolio including managing property build developments and she has also provided mentoring services to those wanting to follow in her footsteps.

However, Abbie has always had an interest in doing something positive for the planet, and so back in 2020 she decided to co-found a revolutionary online sharing platform, Think Bagsy, which is on a mission to reduce mindless consumption whilst simultaneously building relationships within communities.

Abbie is very thankful and proud of the businesses she has built despite multiple military moves (both UK and abroad!) and is always very happy to help others where she can to set up and grow their own flexible, military-life-resistant income streams.

Helen Holt
Helen HoltMilspo Head of Fundraising
Helen established Helen Holt Photography in 2015, initially focusing on child portraits and family photography. After photographing a number of friends (who also happened to be MILSPOs) when they needed professional images for their businesses, she discovered a passion for working with, and supporting, fellow independent business owners through the genre of Brand Photography. Helen specialises in helping female-led small businesses and entrepreneurs elevate their brand with bespoke images.

Helen is also an experienced Trust & Foundation fundraiser, having worked in the charity sector prior to marrying her husband, who serves in the RAF. She has worked with the same small charity for almost ten years and continues to write funding proposals for Action for Children and Communities in Africa, which runs programs that support children with developmental disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa. Helen and Jack have two small children and one large dog.

www.helenholtphotography.com

Jess Sands
Jess SandsFounder & Designer
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.

Jess has been 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. Milspo has been awarded a 2021 DRM Silver Award, and shortlisted for a Women In Defence Award. The InDependent Spouse podcast is sponsored by the Royal British Legion and has 13,500 downloads in over 20 countries.

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!

www.designjessica.co.uk

Rachel Luke
Rachel LukeMilspo Community Manager
Rachel Luke set up her business in the midst of Covid-19 with the main aim of helping female-led small businesses with their admin and social media.

The business has now grown to include offering Power Hours to help people get the most out of their Social Media, live workshops on various Social Media and business topics, as well as her core element of helping small businesses find the extra time in their day by outsourcing their admin to Rachel.

Rachel honed her fast and accurate work technique over years spent working in the NHS where a mistake could mean the difference between life and death, but as her husbands RAF career meant she had to take a step back from the NHS, she now adores working with small business owners and helping their businesses to level up.

Things that many people find “boring” Rachel gets joy from, whether it’s researching, scheduling or transcription, but nothing makes her happier than when she helps someone to understand what they can do with their social media to get maximum results from minimum effort. Rachel is currently in Gloucestershire with her son and husband, and spends a lot of her spare time playing board games, D&D and crafting things.

www.rachelluke.co.uk