Finding the
right fit

The story behind the success of
Positive Transition (+t)

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Timothy M Jones, CEO / Veteran & Entrepreneur of Positive Transition, explains how finding the right financial partner has been so important for the company’s rapid growth and expansion.

What was the inspiration behind Positive Transition?

Having done transition support for 20 years, I had been thinking that there had to be a way to scale, and maintain a personal, bespoke experience for the individual and as importantly, their family. There has been little to no innovation in the space for a quarter of a century, and so, it is ripe for revision and revolution.

How did you turn your idea into a business?

Initially, the concept was socialised among the veteran and business community. Then, we had an opportunity to do a workshop on the Business Canvas with practitioners of the Strategyzer methodology. It was a day’s hard work, but the plan that developed gave us a “Go” decision on taking the business forward and investing some more time and effort into it. More meetings around the technical feasibility, and an introduction to my co-founder pushed us to a formal incorporation of the business in Feb 19.

What makes Positive Transition different to any other businesses in this area?

The current offering is around employment, and is classroom and workbook based. The provision of digital technology empowers the end-user in doing the work and training they need to better prepare for the life change of leaving the Armed Forces.

More by accident than design, as we engaged with the customer environment, we realised that we are able to answer across a number of agendas; spousal employment, family support, through life skills training, earlier preparedness for the transition in the event that it happens unexpectedly.

As another aside, we realsied that the platform can better capture the outliers that would not normally receive support in their exit from the Armed Forces; service family marriage break-up, fast paced discharge (medical, compassionate or administrative), families of the fallen etc. This provides the MoD with areputational uplift and engenders a reality around the “serve well, leave well” ethos.

Positive departure from the military will have a corollary on the recrtuitment of personnel, and into the reserve forces.

How have you overcome the challenges of a growing business?

Sheer doggedness, drive, tenacity, belief and grit. Exploiting a network and paying it forward has been critical to building the momentum.

What’s the secret of your success?

No secret. Belief and tenacity.

How has having Barclays/Eagle Labs as your financial partner helped your business?

Fast establishment of a bank account, and introductions to people that can aid and support the journey.

What about future development and support, what is Positive Transition looking for?

It is anticipated that, once we have secured an anchor customer, then the business will build and grow quickly, equally, possibly with the development of a Social Enterprise. Barclays are ideally situated to support from a banking perspective, and with the broad veteran and adjacent market contacts.

How has Barclays Eagle Labs helped you and your business?

Networking, fireside events, concept forming and testing, training, some publicity opportunities.

What does the future hold for Positive Transition?

More work to build out the development of the platform. We are going to be securing some investment from smart investors who have the same level of passion for our mission.

The anchor customer will then act as a platform to deliver social impact across other markets.

Any advice for other veteran entrepreneurs?

Be prepared to have your thinking challenged and then “down, test and adjust”. Live the Army recruitment motto of “fail, learn, grow”. Build out your trusted network, and do not be afraid of asking for support and advice. Be ready for the journey, and enjoy it... ups, downs and all.

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