Entrepreneurs Unlocked lands Contract with Prisons to Help People into Self-Employment

Entrepreneurs Unlocked is working with budding entrepreneurs, currently in custody, across five prisons in the Northwest, to help them to explore a pathway to self-employment, and to earn a legitimate income post-release.

This contract sees Entrepreneurs Unlocked providing a range of workshops and coaching sessions at HMP Thorn Cross, HMP Liverpool, HMP Risley, HMP Hindley, and HMP Buckley Hall, working with men in custody to develop their ideas for self-employment across a variety of sectors including construction, catering, and horticulture.

Entrepreneurs Unlocked founder, David Morgan, said: “I am delighted to be able to deliver our programmes to these men who wish to develop their entrepreneurial talent. I’m looking forward to working with them, helping them to develop their ideas, and to ultimately be able to support them on their journey to earning a legitimate income in the future.

“Enabling people to consider self-employment, whilst in custody or upon release, is an increasingly important and potentially stable pathway for people upon leaving prison. There is significant talent, that with the right support can be nurtured, and will enable the person to be a better version of themselves.”

Providing high-quality programmes in custody can have a positive impact on successful reintegration into the community. Previous studies conducted by the Ministry of Justice and the Prisoner Education Trust show that people who have accessed distance learning programmes are more likely to be in employment during the first 12 months of release. The hope is for the Entrepreneurs Unlocked initiative to reinforce this, and for the participants to join the 4.2 million people in the UK who are registered as self-employed.

Lisa Cheshire, Head of Learning, Skills and Employment, at HMP Thorn Cross said: “It is really important for our men to develop their own initiative and independence, so taking themselves into self-employment with the skills they have learnt for themselves in prison is huge for them, and it is really important to provide them with this new route to employment.

“The work that David Morgan and Entrepreneurs Unlocked is doing is really valuable and this is something that not a lot of prisons do. I’m really pleased that we are running the programme here at HMP Thorn Cross, as it is something additional, we can offer to the men. We get a lot of ex-offenders asking if they are able to go self-employed, and the answer is obviously yes. This is something that they can explore using the skills they’ve learnt in prison, and to go out and do that on their own is really brave, and they should be proud of that.

Lisa concludes: “The demand for the workshops is already high, with a large number of people already expressing an interest in utilising their skills and talents, recognising that this is a pathway that can enable them to look forward, and not be held back by a lack of employment opportunities, upon release.”

The Entrepreneurs Unlocked programme will be provided in custody, and for those people that are released, the social enterprise will work with the participants and assist them in setting up as self-employed and starting trading.