The Milspo Business Network has teamed up with Small Business Britain to help launch an important campaign to support military spouses, partners and other halves in business during these difficult times. Many small businesses across the UK have been devastated by COVID-19 and do not know where to turn to for support. Many are not reaching out at all. The Big Support campaign is a nationwide effort to help small businesses through the unprecedented situation facing them today. It aims to provide support ranging from direct business aid and mental health support to business showcasing.

Military spouses and partners, who already deal with unique challenges on a daily basis, are now facing even more uncertain times as their partners re-task and deploy as front-line key-workers. The Milspo Business Network wants to support small business owners through this crisis and offer hope for themselves, their families and their staff. That’s why throughout May as part of the Big Support campaign, we’ll be selecting 30 members of the Network to have their businesses exclusively showcased. Each day of the month, a different business will be advertised and promoted by the Network, bringing that company to the attention of the Armed Forces community and the wider business community across the UK and beyond.

The Big Support campaign is happening with the backing of Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for BEIS Alok Sharma, Small Business Minister Paul Scully, and BT.

What is MILSPO?

The Milspo Business Network™ is a global network that supports all UK military spouses, partners and other-halves to build the business of their dreams. Using digital solutions to provide valid and functional training, networking and access to a community not limited by location. A network to help inspire this often isolated but inspirational community living the ‘magnolia walled life’ and running their own business. The Milspo Business Network is a subsidiary of The InDependent Spouse CIC.

It’s Day 1 of Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain, featuring Nadine from Forces Family Finance – @forcesfamilyfinance

“We specialise in providing quality and easy to understand financial advice for forces families and all frontline/key worker communities.

“We understand your needs, your benefit and pay packages and work flexibility around your location and shifts. We offer whole-of-market brokers for mortgages, life/illness/income cover, home insurances and will writers/estate planners. To us you are never just a number. “Running a business has its own challenges and being a military spouse also has its own unique challenges. When you combine the two, only those who know truly understand. There are many groups available but @milspobusinessnetwork offers a real structure and valuable content and opportunities.

“The COVID-19 situation has allowed me to create a deeper bond with my clients and team and given me the ability to showcase my experience and how much I really care, setting me aside from other competition. It has also given me the chance to reflect on processes and adapt new products.” www.forcesfamilyfinance.co.uk

Day 2 of Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain and today we’re featuring Jenna from The Book Taster

“The Book Taster is a unique book gift box company, curating personalised, handpicked, eco-conscious gifts for adults and children.

“The Tasting Boxes are curated especially for the recipient, with each box unique to the person receiving it based on the information provided at purchase.

“We support fellow small businesses (including other military businesses) by featuring them in our Tasting Boxes. The boxes promote self-care through the power of reading and are the perfect gift alternative to sending flowers.

“Being a member of the @milspobusinessnetwork has provided me with a lifeline and link to fellow military business men and women. The virtual meetups have been so wonderful to be involved with – not just to see other smiley faces – but to seek advice, reassurance and the confidence that what I’m doing is ok.

“Having a community like this to call upon has been especially important during these unprecedented times. Owning your own business can be lonely and isolating at the best of times but having these wonderful people to engage with and seek support from has been fantastic!

“The silver lining for me at the moment is that my gifts are being used by lots of customers for the soul reason they were intended: to encourage self-care, show a loved one you are thinking of them and to make people happy! They are delighted that I am still working and able to deliver this service when the high street is ultimately closed.

“So for me, I’m clinging onto this opportunity and embracing the moment, as I know it may not last once shops re-open. However, until then I am delighted to be able to spread some joy and provide a service that many people need at the moment.”

https://www.thebooktaster.com/

It’s Day 3 of Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain, and today we’re featuring Claire from DR ME

“DR ME is a health education business delivering health workshops to schools and corporations, talks, and one-to-one coaching sessions to inspire people to become the healthiest version of themselves.

“Sessions are delivered in person, or online to help as many people as possible benefit. Through interactive sessions DR ME inspires people to improve their whole-body health and well-being by addressing health from 4 key areas: diet, resilience, mind and exercise.

“With new-found knowledge, people become responsible for their own health and thus become their own doctor (and if you take the first letter of each health category it produces the acronym DR ME).

“DR ME takes people from feeling unmotivated and de-energised to feeling in control of their lives, with the ability to thrive, not simply survive. Enhanced health makes people happier and more productive, having a positive knock on to all aspects of their lives.

“@milspobusinessnetwork has given me the support and direction I have needed to get this business up off the ground. It has been a fantastic platform to ask questions and receive answers from people that have encountered similar situations with their businesses.

“It has broadened my network hugely and given me the potential to meet lots of new professionals that lead a similar transient life as myself. There are so many qualified spouses with many vast talents, it is a great pool of people to utilise in the furthering of my business. They get it, all the trials and tribulations that come with running a business and moving every couple of years. I have made some fantastic friends and connections along the journey of creating my business and Milspo has helped engineer this- thank you.

“During Covid-19 I have spent the last 5 weeks releasing a daily DR ME fitness challenge for people young and old, particularly aimed at school aged children. During daily live sessions I have helped keep people moving by doing fitness treasure hunts, copycat circuits and lucky dip sessions to name a few.

“DR ME has been providing online sessions to both groups and individuals to make them aware of actions people can take to make themselves the healthiest version of themselves in this strange era we find ourselves in. These sessions have been positively welcomed by all involved.”

“I have also had time to further my qualifications and work towards my health coaching certificate that I will obtain next month. I’ve been taking time to further my knowledge in areas that I am less confident in, for example I’ve just started a 12-week social media course”

www.doctor-me.co.uk

Onto Day 4 of Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain and today we welcome Liz from Money Bee

“Money Bee provides bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses. We help with everything from answering a few questions or de-mystifying the HMRC dukes, to providing a full accounting service.
“The Milspo Business Network is a great community full of people in my situation, supporting others in my situation. I love that I can use my experience and qualifications to help other people start and run their own businesses, making living their military spouse lives a bit easier. This is exactly why I trained to be an accountant in the first place!”
“With COVID-19 we are learning just how valuable it is being a military spouse: pulling together is what we do best!
“I’m helping as many people as I can who are taking this time to act on that brilliant business idea they’ve had by giving free accounting advice and start-up support.”
Nikky of NoLabels is our guest today on Day 5 of Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain
“#NOLABELS provides a community space to ‘Create, Chat and Connect’. Run by an experienced Occupational Therapist #NOLABELS provides mental wellbeing support on the high street.
“We sell items handmade, designed and up-cycled by people with mental wellbeing connections in our fabulous and unique gift shop. Here we also run mental wellbeing sessions and provide various craft experiences.
“This is a space free from stigma. A place to receive advice and support regarding your mental wellbeing and explore the therapeutic benefits of craft.
“I am very new to business and The Milspo Business Network offers so many networking opportunities. People are so willing to share their own experiences to support each other. It feels very much like an extended support network, accessible anywhere, anytime. This gives a much-needed sense of connection, and ‘back up’ when running a business.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, #NOLABELS is providing a clear and calm voice on social media, highlighting the importance of looking after our mental health during these uncertain times. We have written blogs to encourage people to think about their mental wellbeing, and various ‘opinion articles’.
“We are encouraging people to increase their selfcare, and reduce the expectations placed on themselves at this time, reaffirming our core views that ‘you are enough’ just as you are. We are providing various craft inspiration to help people explore this as a therapeutic activity. We are also providing the opportunity for FREE telephone support from an experienced Occupational Therapist.”
Day 6 and next up in Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain is Paula from Advance Virtual Assistants.
“Advance Virtual Assistants (AVA) provides professional yet friendly business support services. We offer Online Business Management, becoming the Operations Manager in your business, we can manage your projects and we can become your HR department.
“Additionally, we have a team of Virtual Assistants, experienced administrators (usually sourced from our amazing network of military spouses) providing professional back office support.
“We strive to see your business grow as if it were our own and take enormous pride in seeing individuals and businesses benefit from our support.
“The Milspo Business Network provides valuable and continued support, in all guises, to military spouses with their own businesses. The series of podcasts have been truly inspirational, informative and uplifting. The guests that have been featured all shown great empathy for the Milspo network of business, being a part of, or understanding, our unusual lifestyle. The online networking groups provides a more interactive delivery of support in a non-judgmental safe space.
“In response to the COVID-19 situation, at Advance Virtual Assistants we are working hard to ensure a future-proof sustainable business, to enable us to provide meaningful work for the whole team whilst continuing to deliver a valuable service to our clients.
“We have taken the opportunity of this downtime to re-design the services and create a training package to support additional spouses to train to become virtual assistants.”
It’s Day 7 of Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain and today we welcome Gail Hawker of Athena Wills Ltd
“I am an independent professional will writer and I help people put plans in place for the future. Using modern video methods means that I can talk to my clients face to face, enabling me to offer friendly guidance and support when making their wills.
“I am legally trained, fully insured and a member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), so my clients can be assured they are in safe hands.”
“The Milspo Business Network goes above and beyond to support and champion military spouses. The virtual networking events enable you to step out of your comfort zone into a lovely and supportive atmosphere. We already share common ground with fellow spouses and partners because of our military connection and network with ease and confidence.
“I enjoy the free downloads that are offered by Jess. They are always really helpful to keep you on track with goals and are always informative. The online community page is great for connecting with other business spouses and partners. It offers the perfect opportunity to find and support fellow businesses in the military community. The podcast series is so very inspiring, and I love listening to individual journeys and stories.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, everyone’s priority is making sure their loved ones are safe and well in these uncertain times. Whilst writing a will might not be at the top of everyone’s to-do list, recent events have bought planning for the future to the forefront of people’s minds.
“Athena Wills Ltd has always offered a 10% discount to serving and retired military personnel along with their spouse or partner. We are also proud to be part of the @bluelightcard scheme, through which we also offer a 10% discount off our will writing service to Blue Light cardholders.”
Grace Selous Bull and The Rainbow Tree is Day 8’s featured business in Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain
“My business is called the.Rainbow.tree and encourages families to introduce creative mindfulness within family life.
“We recently launched our first product called Creatively Mindful Moments. This deck of cards is aimed at 5 to 11-year-olds and introduces the concept of mindfulness through creative prompts. With three separate categories there is something for all interests.
“The Rainbow Tree and its creative mindfulness product fills an important gap in the wellbeing for children market. Our children are under more strain than other generations have ever been under.
“Being a member of The Milspo Business Network is more than being part of any other normal business network. These men and women understand the strain and sacrifices that comes with military life. But more than that, they don’t use that as an excuse to grow and fulfil their own dreams.
“There is relevant and useful information shared consistently. Instead of competition, there is only support, enthusiasm and a whole network of people behind you moving towards the same goal and passions.
“Customers have been slowly getting back to us about how they are using our products with their children during the pandemic, and we have been thrilled to see that emotions are being openly talked about within their families. We have seen that families are taking our cards out into nature with them on their daily outings and using them.
“Moreover, we have noticed in the personal notes that people are supporting parents they know who are struggling with Primary School aged children by buying them as unexpected gifts.”
It’s Day 9 of Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with @smallbizuk, and next up is Georgie Muir and Chasing Lobsters
“Chasing Lobsters provides online life coaching for professional women who want more calm, consistency and personal fulfilment in their personal and professional lives.
“Through private 1-1 coaching programmes, group coaching programmes, various free online support opportunities and more, I work with women to help them connect with what it is they truly need to feel good, and then show up consistently to make it happen.
“Every group programme also offers one free spot to a military spouse, as I’m passionate about supporting the military community that already gives so much.”
“I enjoy being a @milspobusinessnetwork member because seeing others make the military lifestyle work for them professionally is inspiring. The shared experience, camaraderie and collective support that the Network offers is the connection that working from home in an ever-changing military life often lacks! It’s a breath of fresh air.
“During the COVID-19 Pandemic I have significantly increased the free online coaching opportunities on offer to try and provide more support, clarity, kindness, and comfort where it’s needed. Free webinars, free group coaching calls, online coaching Q&As and more availability for free 30 minute 1-1 ‘discovery calls’.
“This is a challenging time and I believe we all could do with a little more collective support and understanding. It so wonderful to be able to offer this amidst the isolation.”

Onto Day 10 of Milspo’s #TheBigSupport campaign with Small Business Britain and we welcome Jessica Consterdine from

Posh Paper
“Posh Paper is a graphic design firm. I create branding identities such as brand logos, websites bespoke to your niche, and ad hoc business support and services.
“We specialise in business coaching for new entrepreneurs and more specifically, mompreneurs.
“It is a privilege to be part of a strong network of spouses who share the same challenges, willingness to help each other, and the same desire for networking. I enjoy being a member of Milspo Business Network for the aforementioned, for and the opportunity to be part of an ever-expanding network of empowering people.
“Positive news around the current pandemic that involves Posh Paper is I have offered current clients, free business coaching via FaceTime, to help develop new ideas to sustain their businesses.
“It is important for me to let them know I am here to help, especially during such an uncertain time.
“For new clients I have designed free workbooks and downloads to continue with the planning stages and launches of their new businesses and products.”

To find out about the other 30 businesses follow these links…

The Big Support Businesses 11-20
The Big Support Businesses 21-30