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Self-employment and the Armed Forces Community

The report is now available here:

Lyonette, C., Barnes, S-A., Owen, D., Fisher, N., Newell, K., Kapur, R. and Wing, M. (2018). Self-employment and the Armed Forces Community. London: Forces in Mind Trust.

A team from IER led on an 18-month mixed-methods study, in partnership with QinetiQ and X-Forces Entreprise. 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 considered the self-employment of ex-Service personnel and Reservists, as well as the spouses and partners 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 were 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


QinetiQ logo


Project duration:

December 2016 - July 2018