Self-Employment in Gardening to Help Veterans

Social enterprise, Entrepreneurs Unlocked, provides veterans of the armed forces with a route into self-employment, in gardening, with the launch of the Defender to Entrepreneur programme.

David Morgan, the founder of Entrepreneurs Unlocked, launched the Defender to Entrepreneur programme in conjunction with Sally Coulthard, founder and CEO of the Defence Garden Scheme (DGS).

DGS is a nationwide network of gardens that helps to fill the gap in mental health support, for veterans of the armed forces, by increasing access to nature-based therapy. DGS currently operates across four gardens throughout the UK. 

David Morgan developed and introduced the Defender to Entrepreneur programme to DGS, offering mentoring and support to any veterans showing interest in the potential progression into self-employment. The programme offers face-to-face and online support and a range of comprehensive booklets and guides, providing tailored support for veterans seeking self-employment, such as gardeners or estate maintenance contractors.

David Morgan said: “I have been proud to collaborate with DGS, to launch the Defender to Entrepreneur programme, to support and assist veterans interested in becoming self-employed. 

“I have been honoured to learn more about the veteran’s community and to offer tailored support and guidance to them. I see this programme as just the start of a long collaboration with DGS, and I look forward to our work and successful outcomes in the future.”

When asked about the programme, a veteran responded: ‘awesome initiative!’ and the CEO of a military employment company said: “May I offer my congratulations on producing this very valuable resource.”

Entrepreneurs Unlocked first Defender to Entrepreneur programme launched in the DGS project at DB Nurseries in Hyde, Greater Manchester. The programme has been very well received and will now be rolled out across existing and future DGS gardens. 

Sally Coulthard, MBE CF FRSA, Founder and CEO of the DGS CIC, said: “DGS offers an opportunity for members of the armed forces community, needing some time and space, to consider their future, and to benefit from nature-based therapy. The Defender to Entrepreneur blended learning programme is an invaluable addition to the progression options offered to the military veterans who complete our 10-week programme.

“I want to thank David Morgan and Entrepreneurs Unlocked for giving the veterans who attend our sessions an opportunity to consider and with David’s guidance, work towards self-employment in horticulture.”

To find out more about Entrepreneurs Unlocked, visit: 

To find out more about DGS, visit: 

About Entrepreneurs Unlocked

Entrepreneurs Unlocked recognises that people with criminal histories can develop their talents and gifts that enable them to flourish and become positive contributors to society.

Almost 2 in 3 adults with custodial sentences of less than one-year re-offend within 12 months of release and the total cost of re-offending is in excess of £18 billion per annum to the UK.

Entrepreneurs Unlocked engages with individuals in custody and the community, providing a range of programmes to nurture and develop their talent to enable them to live a crime-free future as an individual, employee or self-employed person. 

About DGS

The Defence Gardens Scheme is a developing network of gardens which deliver and evaluate an evidence-based nature-based therapy programme for Armed Forces Service Leavers and Veterans and their families.