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Nominations for the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020 are open

4 min read

01 October 2019

Features Editor, Real Business

The ceremony that recognises the business achievements of military veterans celebrates its third birthday by inviting people to nominate inspirational individuals for the 2020 awards.

An awards ceremony dubbed the “largest celebration of veterans in second careers” is returning for the third year in a row to commemorate the achievements of ex-servicemen and women in the business world.

Set to take place at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel in May 2020, the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards is doing more than simply shining a light on a few inspirational individuals.

Overturning recruitment bias

At a wider societal level, the awards are trying to highlight the business value that veteran candidates possess, including their transferable skillsets and applicability to roles in the corporate world. Most importantly, the awards are doing their bit to overturn harmful stereotypes that veterans are not suited to any other work than the military.

Highlighting success…

The awards ceremony last year, (2019).

The awards ceremony itself recognises veterans ‘on the ground’ who have left service and forged successful paths in business despite a climate that’s still not completely supportive of welcoming veterans into the private sector.

Highlights from last year included winner Matt Chapman, who bagged the New Service Leaver of the Year award for his impressive progression through financial services giant, J.P. Morgan – only two years after leaving the army.

The desire to change the culture of recruitment towards veterans is what the awards are all about. The hope is that by recognising the achievements of individuals publically, awareness will be raised about the transferable skill sets of veterans at large, including their profile fit with many business roles in the private sector.

Inspirational winners

Veteran Chris Gillen overcame homelessness to start his drinks company. Source: asdagoodliving.com

Next year’s ceremony will no doubt follow the success of 2019’s awards that saw over 900 business and military leaders come together to celebrate the winners.

Highlights from last year included winner Matt Chapman, who bagged the New Service Leaver of the Year award for his impressive progression through financial services giant, J.P. Morgan – only two years after leaving the army.

Overcoming homelessness and climbing corporate ladders

Another inspirational winner from last year was RAF veteran Chris Gillan who was named Entrepreneur of the Year for his business, Heroes Drinks Company, a not-for-profit organisation that produces and sells vodka.

After leaving the forces, Gillan had battled unemployment and even homelessness before he found the inspiration to start his now successful impact business.

Raising money for other military charities

However, the British Ex-forces in Business Awards is anything but self-congratulatory. Not content with only giving itself a proverbial ‘slap on the back’, the awards also raises funds for other military charities and managed to raise an impressive £50,000 from the 2019 event.

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is the official charity partner for the awards. Lt. Gen. Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO of SSAFA said: “SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is very proud to be associated with this important event which celebrates veteran employment. I am very aware of the challenges that can be faced by service leavers during their transition, with employment a major challenge for many. It is very heartening to see so many employers acknowledging the skills and experiences of those who have served their country.”

The nominations for 2020 are now open and will close on 12 December 2019. Nominate a veteran by completing the online form here, where you can also see the full list of award categories as well as the criteria and guidelines.