Thursday 8th October has been a thrilling night for all the finalists of our business award categories, as these finalists, their nominators, sponsors, colleagues, families and friends eagerly watched our virtual ceremony to find out who has taken home this year’s trophies.

The virtual ceremony was tremendous as we proudly announced the winners of the Business Start-up, Business Scale-up and Community Impact Awards in the third Soldiering On Awards 2020 winners’ ceremony.




Tonight’s Zoom event was hosted by our Dream Team: two of our longest standing supporters, the fabulous and much-loved actress Vicki Michelle MBE, and fantastic TV presenter-turned-Strictly recruit J J Chalmers.

When this entertaining pair team up, you know it’s going to be incredible fun! (Read more about tonight’s presenters here.)

The ceremony was also attended by the category finalists and sponsors, judges including General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL. President, Soldiering On Awards; Mike Cherry, former reservist and National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses; Air Vice Marshal Ranald Monro CBE, TD, VR, Commandant General Royal Auxiliary Air Force; and Chairman of Cobseo, The Confederation of Service Charities, General Sir John McColl KCB, CBE, DSO, KStJ.


The Earl Howe, Patron of the Soldiering On Awards said: “Despite the new virtual backdrop, the evening was a tremendous hour of celebration. All the finalists’ achievements cover an impressively wide range, from driving change in the Armed Forces environment and supporting our veterans’ community, to fields beyond Service life – be that sport, business, charity-work or public service.

“As the scope and prominence of these Awards has increased with each passing year, they add ever more value through the strong and positive messages that recognition gives to the vital and impressive work being done by our Nominees, Finalists and Winners in their communities.

“Huge congratulations to ALL our fantastic 2020 winners and finalists. Each and every one of you is an inspiration to us all.”

Our finalists were: 

Geollect Ltd – a leading Geospatial Intelligence company that helps to prioritise information, balance strategy and tactics, de-risk and increase the speed of decision making.




IED Training Solutions Ltd – offering accredited training and consultancy services with the primary focus placed on Health & Safety, mental health and trauma management.




ThorpyFx Ltd – providing a specially engineered, handmade effects pedal for guitars that is loved by musicians worldwide, by bands including Radiohead and Blur.





You can read more about these finalists here.

We are delighted to announce that the Winner is…

IED Training Solutions Ltd

Ian Clark from IED said: “Thank you so much it’s just an incredible feeling, we didn’t expect it but thank you. When we left the Royal Marines we set up the company in 2015 called it IED; but rather dwell on the negative it’s now Inspire, Educate and Develop and that’s the ethos the company follows.

“We’ve got 12 in the IED team just now, everyone is from a uniformed service background, you won’t be surprised to know there are quite a few former Royal Marines in there! The team are absolutely fantastic, and we wouldn’t have won this without them, that’s for sure.

IED Training Solutions was set up in 2015 by two former Royal Marines SNCOs, Ian Clark and Paul Barrett. Both were serving in 2009 when Paul suffered ‘the ultimate workplace injury’ – stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), causing catastrophic life changing injuries. Ian was responsible for calling in the helicopter that saved Paul’s life.

Using their experience of risk management in hostile environments, the company offers a wide range of accredited training and consultancy services with the primary focus placed on Health & Safety, mental health and trauma management.

IED is regularly commissioned to develop sector/client specific courses, workshops and wellbeing strategies, and the team has returned to Afghanistan, becoming the first UK training consultancy to deliver Institution of Health and Safety (IOSH) approved safety training there.  Here in the UK, its customer base is increasing and includes transport, shipping and local authority clients. Ian and Paul’s military background was key when The Gamekeeper Welfare Trust (GWT) approached them after two young keepers had committed suicide. In collaboration with GWT, IED developed the STAG program (Set Goals, Take Action, Awareness, Get Talking) and this wellbeing workshop has now been delivered to 20 major sporting estates throughout the UK.

IED has grown steadily and now employs 11 staff, including several Veterans. The company revenue has increased by up to 65% each year without any loan assistance or external investment.


Lt Colonel Ren Kapur MBE, CEO of X-Forces Enterprise and Co-Chair of the Soldiering On Awards said: “This was our third digital winner ceremony and I would like to reiterate that, as with all the other categories that came before these, it is important to shine a light on all of our wonderful finalists. These individuals and businesses represent the very best of the best. Our Judging Panel had an incredibly difficult challenge in making their final decisions last November. The Business of the Year finalists and winners especially highlight the importance of recognising the contribution they make to the national economy. With the pandemic having had a considerable effect on many businesses, business owners and therefore employment, we together must stand to support and elevate these extraordinary individuals and the role they play in sustaining our future.

“I am very proud to be part of the Armed Forces Family and what we together stand for in this extraordinary year, which has kept many of us apart but has strengthened our resolve and really underlined the importance of our community.

“We want to thank all of the judges and particularly the sponsors for continuing to support the Soldiering On Community; making sure that everyone’s experience this year is as special as we can possibly make it.”


General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO, Chairman of Cobseo, the Confederation of Service Charities and Soldiering On Awards Judge said: “The Soldiering On Awards is a wonderful opportunity for the Armed Forces Community to come together to celebrate and reflect on the contributions made by those who dedicate themselves to support others.

“Whilst we still cannot be together, we can all give thanks to those who selflessly support those who need a helping hand at a time when this has rarely been more important. Congratulations to all those nominated and the winners – thank you for everything you do.”

About this Award…

This Award honours a business that was established over two years ago (before 1 Oct 2017), started by an individual linked with the armed forces who still retains a minimum of 51% interest in the venture.

A word from our Sponsor…

“London Stock Exchange Group is delighted to be a to be a sponsor for the this year’s X-Forces Soldiering On Awards, recognising the outstanding achievements of inspirational current and former members of the Armed Forces.”

Diane Côté, Chief Risk Officer, LSEG

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