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Prince's Lead Your Own Business 2018 residential week wrap up - Prince's Trust Australia
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Prince’s Lead Your Own Business 2018 residential week wrap up

Big ideas turn into business reality for the 2018 Prince’s Lead Your Own Business program

Each year almost 6,000 Australian Defence Force personnel transition from full-time military service to civilian life. This transition is often a difficult one for defence members and their families. Despite years of training and skill development, veteran unemployment rates continue to exceed the national average.

Now in its fourth year, The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business program aims to bridge this gap by building confidence and employability skills for personnel leaving the Defence Force. Through a combination of one-on-one academic support, mentoring and networking, the program has played an integral role in the success of a number of new veteran-owned small businesses.

This year, The Prince’s Trust Australia welcomed 21 entrepreneurial Defence members to Melbourne for an intensive week of face-to-face business skills development and networking as part of their six-month commitment to the program.

In between marketing, legal, financial and design thinking classes led by RMIT University’s Business Enterprise Unit, this year’s program participants received exclusive access to leading entrepreneurs and business experts.

Through pre and post evaluations of each participant, PTA found a:

  • 169% increase in confidence on legal and financial frameworks by the end of the residential week
  • 59% increase in confidence in money management skills, including budgeting, cash flow, and profit & loss
  • 100% strongly agree that the PLYOB program has increased their confidence in starting a small business
  • 100% would recommend the program to another ADF member

In addition to gaining theoretical and practical business skills at RMIT University and its start-up hub RMIT Activator, major sponsor EY hosted a networking dinner for this year’s participants to connect with business leaders and mentors with EY Entrepreneur of the Year and Defence veteran Mark Woodland, CEO of Xplor.

At the conclusion of the residential week, participants Matthew Walsh and Sally Turner were awarded the Prince’s Prize, a $2,500 cash contribution that recognizes two individuals who display outstanding commitment, entrepreneurial spirit, and a willingness to assist others during the residential week.

Applications for the 2019 Prince’s Lead Your Own Business program are accepted on a rolling basis. Stay posted by subscribing to our newsletter and following the Prince’s Trust Australia Facebook page for updates.

Watch the wrap up video from the 2018 residential week here.

Photos from the residential week can be viewed here.

With special thanks to RMIT University, EY Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and our 2018 scholarship providers and supporters for their ongoing commitment to the program.

Further Information:

A little more about our 2018 cohort:

  • Participants from VIC, QLD, NSW, ACT, and TAS
  • Years of service ranges from 3 to 28 (average of 15.8 years)
  • Business ideas as diverse as: plumbing, trauma management, financial consultancy, 3D set building, cyber resilience consultancy, tattoo design, musical instrument hire service, conservation programming, registered training organisations, coffee van, property development, property maintenance, sensory aides for people with disabilities and PTSD, custom-built furniture, real estate, flight training, gunsmithing and group fitness.

Case studies of P.L.Y.O.B. alumni:


About The Prince’s Trust Australia
The Prince’s Trust Australia provides a coordinating presence for the charitable endeavours of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in Australia. The Prince’s Trust Australia supports the development and delivery of innovative, high impact projects across three focus areas: Young People, Sustainable Communities, and Defence Members & Their Families. Visit:

Download the PDF media release.

Media contact:
Jenny Vu | Project Executive – Prince’s Trust Australia
m: 0431 694 001