Defence members & Their Families
We know that adjusting to civilian life after the military is increasingly complex for the contemporary veteran and their family.
Some of the issues that face veterans include multiple deployment cycles and frequent relocations, military culture, unemployment, long-term underemployment and lack of meaningful employment, physical or psychological injury impacting capacity to live and work, as well as difficulty translating skills and capabilities to civilian workplaces.
The way members manage these challenges can have a significant impact on their long-term wellbeing, including improved labour force participation.
With an average of eight service years and an increasingly large number of veterans transitioning in their mid-20’s - as well as above-average rates of partner unemployment - early intervention during and after the transition is critical to our community's long-term socio-economic success.
Prince’s Trust Australia is the only national not-for-profit organisation inspiring veterans and their families with the confidence, skills and networks they need to safely explore self-employment and engage successfully in the rapidly changing world of work.
We achieve this through Enterprise, an agile and participant-led program designed in partnership with our network of expert facilitators, veterans, ADF family members, and the ex-service community. Working with best-practice providers, our vision is to curate Australia's veteran and family entrepreneurial ecosystem, and supporting veteran-community owned businesses from exploration through to growth.
We've been delivering and designing these programs since 2015, guided by an Advisory Council, chaired by the Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) and attended by Major General Natasha Fox AM CSC, Head of People Capability at Department of Defence.
We are unique to Australia’s ADF and veteran ecosystem as our programs blend business methodologies and experiential learning with the development of 10 enterprise skills internationally recognised as integral to the future of work:
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Professional Ethics
- Global Citizenship
- Digital Literacy
- Emotional Judgement
Our approach recognises that the rapidly changing nature of work requires a greater emphasis on enterprise capabilities. These “soft skills” will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030 and are growing two and a half times faster than other jobs.
We also recognise that small business is the backbone of Australia’s economy, representing forty-four per cent of total employment in private sector industries and a third of Australia’s GDP. Ninety-seven per cent of all businesses in Australia are small businesses. Most of these small businesses - an overwhelming 61% - are sole traders.
With this in mind, we're here to support Australia's veteran community harness their skills, experience, and networks to safely explore self-employment and build the capabilities they need to thrive in the world of work - as business owners and entrepreneurs or as intrapreneurs and employees.
We run digital and face-to-face programs designed to inspire the veteran community to:
- Explore self-employment, entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and business
- Enhance the skills you need to thrive in the rapidly changing world of work
- Connect with likeminded vetrepreneurs and build new networks across Australia
We blend business methodologies and experiential learning to help our participants: understand the Australian small business landscape; explore and reflect on employment opportunities; engage with entrepreneurial networks and communities; build confidence to innovate in life and work; and apply best practice human-centred design tools to support sustainable business growth.
Enterprise alumni are building businesses in industries as diverse as organic skincare, furniture design, life coaching, photography, cybersecurity, e-commerce, tourism and hospitality, property maintenance, property development, real estate, aviation, yoga, nutrition, social enterprise, apparel, fitness, trauma consulting, childcare, publishing, motivational speaking and veteran support services.
Feedback from the community
“Awesome opportunity to experience a frame of reference other than the usual Defence mindset. To challenge own assumptions and habits and awake to other opportunities and avenues. Clone it if you can! Immensely grateful to the trust and all involved for this unique opportunity.”
"I, like many others, struggle with being identified as a Veteran as I did not see overseas active service in my 14 years in the Airforce. I do know that I committed a large chunk of my life to serving in the military, and it can be as scary as hell moving into the civilian world out of the safety net & especially going into business. It’s a completely different mindset! I met some amazing fellow servicemen & women who have inspired me, not to mention the creative way of thinking outside of the box!"
"Over a 34-year career in both the ADF and civilian worlds I have been on many training courses, but nothing compares to the high calibre of this program, starting with the initial communication and support, through content (including access to guests) and delivery."
“The support, experience and knowledge provided through this program is without question the difference between operating a highly successful business and potentially becoming one of the statistics. This is an opportunity you will not get anywhere else. It’s not just the course learnings – it’s the networks, the personal mentors with decades of business experience, and the support all the way through the program and post-program that really matter.”
"This course and the people who support it provide the most valuable experience available to anyone still serving or transitioning from Defence. I found my time inspiring and I am excited by the prospect of life outside the Australian Defence Force.”
"There is nothing else like this opportunity in Australia. You can’t put a dollar value on the support and quality of the resources and facilitators that we had in this program - it’s incredible.”
“I would recommend this course to anyone thinking of starting a small business as a foundation platform to provide clear direction.”
“This is an exceptional opportunity for transitioning members who have the passion and ideas of pursuing self-employment. Not only does it provide the tools to start a business but introduces all participants to an extraordinary group of professionals from various industries who are willing to share their experiences.”
"Thank you for giving me the platform to be able to help guide others, many of whom also seemed quite lost in their current journey. It’s such a daunting prospect to go from such a secure bubble inside the ADF to the real world. It’s important to get the message out that initiatives such as this exist to help along the way."
“The program has been integral to our success. Formalising our business plan helped us grow our company in the last 18 months from three founding staff members to nearly 30 people today. The Prince’s Trust Australia was great because it gave us that network and heightened level of business expertise that was able to really push up forward.”
"It was a fantastic experience learning how to find and analyze business problems and create solutions before testing them. You can meet other like-minded veterans where you can forge new friendships and increase your own support networks" - Gary
"Amazing!!! Insightful, great practice for real-world challenges, safe & supportive, different, connecting, dynamic, encouraging, interesting and fun." - Natahsha
"Awesome opportunity to experience a frame of reference other than the usual Defence mindset. To challenge own assumptions and habits and awake to other opportunities and avenues. Clone it if you can! Immensely grateful to the trust and all involved for this unique opportunity." - Daryl
"Eye-opening, supportive and exciting." – John
“Preparation to separate from Defence and reintegrate into civilian life and workforce. This course I feel has equipped me with tools that I can use not only in an entrepreneurial way but simply to life in general to approach things open mindedly, calmly and systematically. This is by far the best thing that has been offered to me by Defence to assist me in transition.”