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Self-employment and the Armed Forces Community

Interested in participating in our research?

If you are a member of the UK Armed Forces community (i.e. a veteran, Serving personnel, or a spouse/partner) and are interested in taking part, please select the online survey and/or telephone interview to find out more.

A team from IER is leading on an 18-month mixed-methods study, in partnership with QinetiQ and X-Forces. Self-employment among the Armed Forces Community has been under-researched, including the identification of any differences between the general population in motivations and routes into self-employment, as well as the barriers and supports which can lead to subsequent success or failure. This research will consider the self-employment of ex-Service personnel and Reservists, as well as the spouses of Service and ex-Service personnel, to fill the current gap in empirical evidence and contribute to policy-making and service delivery.

The key objectives of the research project are to provide a thorough and comprehensive review of the Armed Forces Community and self-employment to:

  • Identify the characteristics of, and factors determining, successful self-employment;
  • Identify aspects unique to that Community compared to the general population;
  • Draw conclusions on the value of self-employment; and
  • Recommend how to enhance the contribution of self-employment to the overall employment outcome.

Project funder:


Project team:

Clare Lyonette (Principal Investigator)

Sally-Anne Barnes

David Owen


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Project duration:

December 2016 - July 2018