Prince Charles and RMIT University are helping soldiers transition into the world of startups

Prince Charles, Prince Of Wales. Photo: Getty Images

Defence personnel wanting to start their own business are being assisted by a nationally-accredited royal initiative, The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business program, at Australia’s largest tertiary institution, RMIT University.

22 participants from all over Australia began the online component of the training program earlier this year.

Launched by the Prince’s Charities Australia, the coordinating body for Prince Charles’ charitable endeavours in Australia, the program will bring the group together at RMIT University in Melbourne for a week of intensive residential training, starting today.

As part of the course, defence personnel receive 12 months of mentoring by industry experts and will complete a Certificate IV in Small Business Management.

One of the program’s participants, Army Major Sarah-Jane Aitken, believes the program will give her the confidence and business knowledge she needs to own her own childcare centre.

“I’ve never been more excited and engaged with study before — I know exactly what I want to do and everything I’m working on as part of the program is leading toward that dream being realised,” she said.

The program was based on a similar initiative first run by the Prince’s Charities Canada in 2012, which has seen 75 businesses started by ex-Canadian Defence personnel. Two program graduates have signed on as mentors for the Australian program.

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