In August 2012, Army wife Kate Inch, received a grant from The Women’s Section towards the start-up of her online Forces business directory, Follow The Flag, co-founded with business partner and army wife, Victoria O’Bree.
Follow The Flag is a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise to assist forces families, ex-forces and serving dependents that wish to run their own businesses through providing online marketing, advice and support.
‘Follow the Flag’ advertises a broad range of services offered by families in the Forces, including bespoke presents, re-upholsterers, cake makers, tailors, personal solicitors, authors and military artists.
The initiative was founded to support the tri-service community, with profits generated by the site shared between to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The RAF Benevolent Fund and The Royal Naval and Royal Marines Charity.
In addition to the business directory, members and ‘Flag Followers’ - subscribers to the site - can post free advertisements for charity and ‘not for profit’ events. Follow the Flag also offers business advice and mentoring to its members and will begin hosting regional networking and business building seminars (with crèche facilities) later this year.
Follow The Flag is embarking upon phase two of the website which has been financially support by The Women’s Section. An information resource area, sponsored by Forces charities wishing to publicise schemes and programmes they are running to support Forces and ex Forces entrepreneurs.
Follow The Flag has been received with great enthusiasm by the Forces community. There is no other resource like it, although the problem with continuity of employment for spouses affects most Forces families. With tranche 2 of military redundancies taking place this year, the information resource being created by Follow The Flag will prove extremely useful to the large numbers of military personnel who will be looking for new employment.