5 October 2023

Entrepreneur training program to benefit veterans and spouses

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Start the conversation
Frontline Labs' Chris North

Frontline Labs CEO and founder Chris North giving a presentation. Photo: Frontline Labs.

A not-for-profit organisation aims to foster business development and ideation for Australian Defence Force members, their spouses, and veterans transitioning to civilian life.

Frontline Labs offers 21st-century solutions to better serve the veteran community by adapting their military knowledge and developing innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

Frontline Labs kicked off its first Veteran Entrepreneur Training under the InnoClub banner in Wagga in 2021 with several veteran-associated businesses from Wagga and the surrounding areas starting their journey to success with that course.

“It’s a two-part program and ASQA [Australian Skills Quality Authority] accredited unit of competency for entrepreneurship,” said Frontline Labs CEO and founder Chris North.

READ ALSO Champion skipper spreads the message on the importance of a healthy heart

“We’ve developed and honed it around veteran and veteran spouse learning.

“It’s not like a classroom where everybody is the same. The coursework reflects the different learning outcomes and classroom environments that might be expected by those currently or who have served,” he said.

Chris founded the organisation and has run the entrepreneurship program for over three years.

“We realised there was quite a strong ex-service organisation market that was in dire need of help and assistance,” he said.

“We thought this would be an opportunity for us to help RSL and sub-branch offer something to contemporary veterans.

“The challenge is that most RSL sub-branches only offer a beer and a schnitzel … contemporary veterans don’t feel they have space where they feel they’re part of a cohort or a sense of purpose with a group they can relate to.”

The founder said that the entrepreneurship program was developed because contemporary veterans were filled with innovative ideas, were tech-savvy, had the education and wanted to create a different style of strong community they could relate to.

Frontline Labs has supported and mentored more than 150 veterans and spouses’ businesses through its entrepreneurship program.

READ ALSO Riverina Made: Griffith’s Mary Restagno launched giftware business at age 67

“Over the years, we’ve taken feedback from the veterans, and it has allowed us to develop the program to have better and stronger results for the group,” Chris said.

“Something we’ve taken on board is that none of the groups are into self-paced online learning. They want an environment where they can be in a classroom with a group they can work with.

“We run an MBA-style five-week online program, and we all come together at the end at a residential in Sydney on week six.”

The online sessions are available on 31 October, 7 November, 14 November, 21 November and 28 November from 6 to 9 pm.

Applications for the next round of courses close on 6 October at 5 pm. Click here to apply and find out more about Frontline Labs.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.