BRITISH Army veteran Daniel James has set up a blacksmiths business in Pershore with a ground breaking start-up loan.

The money from X-Forces, the UK’s only organisation that directly supports enterprise in the Armed Forces community, has pushed the total it has loaned above the £4m mark. Since its launch in July 2013, X-Forces, which helps service-leavers, veterans and military spouses, has assisted 389 new entrepreneurs, to whom £4,129,976 in seed funding has been lent, as an official partner of the government’s Start Up Loans Company.

Chief executive and founder of X-Forces Ren Kapur said: “Two years ago we set out on a mission to give the military community the support that was so desperately needed in enterprise. Business was a foreign and daunting avenue for Service-leavers, but now, two years on, X-Forces has built a strong support network and become a bridge between government, military charities and big business, all of whom acknowledge that the military community and small businesses play a vital role in the UK’s economy. X-Forces’ 376 entrepreneurs have the focus, tenacity and – importantly – the support to succeed and become the next generation of employers.”

Mr James, who is aged 43, has launched a blacksmithing business offering contemporary and traditional ironwork. He served in the Regimental Core of Drums as a machine gunner and then developed his skill on military contracts, welding and fabricating the force protection for vehicles going out to Afghanistan. He attended a startup workshop held by X-Forces and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which gave him the confidence to take the plunge.

Mr James said: "The workshop opened my eyes to the world of business, and I went away and got started on my plan immediately. Since that day, X-Forces has been there for me with guidance and support beyond the funding. I am in a far better position to where I was before, exciting times lay ahead.”

Chief of Staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Brigadier Robin Bacon, added: "Working with X-Forces has allowed The Soldiers’ Charity to provide a new range of support to our beneficiaries. Our congratulations go to Daniel and all those who have attended workshops we have supported on launching your businesses.”

For details on X-Forces and the support available to the military community embarking on enterprise, visit or call 0207 811 3237.