One of the client groups we love to support into self-employment are ex-offenders, giving them an opportunity to become self-employed or start a business post-release is of immense support. Enterprise Exchange was created from seeing that mainstream business support is often inaccessible for marginalised groups. Within this project, Enterprise Exchange worked closely with the National Probation Services (NPS), to adapt the project to the needs of the programme.
To increase participants’ ability to become self-employed, to increase confidence and self-esteem, and to provide networking opportunities for participants to meet likeminded people. Improve participants' quality of life, create positive role models and make them less likely to re-offend.
Those who decided to take part in the intervention were expected to attend six supervision sessions with their probation officer and three group sessions with Enterprise Exchange.
Impact of the project
A positive indication that the project has contributed towards an increased ability to manage money and an increased ability to start a business/become self-employed. As of early June 2020, all participants remained engaged with the project and had not yet re-offended, strongly suggesting a positive change in attitude.
Participants did mention repeated positive reinforcements from the workshop facilitator, suggesting that this might be the case. By running group sessions for individuals who were thinking about self-employment, Enterprise Exchange successfully provided networking opportunities and the opportunity for participants to build relationships with likeminded people.
One participant mentioned staying in touch with another person and although their relationship is currently more social rather than business focused, this suggests that those who wanted to take up networking opportunities were able to do so. Sustainability, replicability and scalability is the future goal. The extent to which the Probation project can continue is dependent on future funding opportunities.
“He [the workshop facilitator] thought I was very knowledgeable and complimented my understanding of things. He commended me quite a lot actually. He would always encourage me. He was a brilliant teacher.” Testimonial from participant.
This is one of our projects, but we also love to support women over 50, those with additional barriers and soon we will have an online self-employment courses aimed at everyone who is interested in starting a business.
Transferable Skills, With Love, A Stay-at-Home Mum
We have all been there, the stay at home mum identity crisis. The sudden realisation of the big fat hole in my resume dawned on me. I cared about how I would appear to future potential employers. Now five years on, I can tell you I am not worried in the slightest. Although no awards, promotions or accomplishments will be mentioned on my resume, I am sure of one thing, I am way more confident than I thought.
I am incredibly well-versed in Child Development, meeting goals that include bedtime routines and the ability to work towards tight deadlines, such as the 20-second dash for the potty. I can work well under pressure (running the home in the day and multiple feeds at night). Communication skills include baby sign, lecturing and the reading of body language. A worried mother can research better than MI5, so that surely counts towards research and analytical skills?
Additionally, I can prioritise better, managing multiple tasks at once, for example, feeding, cooking and surfing the internet simultaneously. Let's not forget organisational skills, meals planning, routine setting and sorting out the dreaded Lego. A few final skills I believe I achieved from being a stay at home mum are problem-solving. For example, why isn't she sleeping, why won't she sleep, how can I stop her crying, and how can I eat some sweets without being seen? Lastly, I can divide tasks, share chores and gain cooperation from my pint-sized dictator.
Whilst you may have been out of work for a while and lacking in confidence, just remember you have likely gained skills during your time at home, you never thought you had.
With love, A stay at home mum xx
Could you give us a quick overview of your role at Enterprise Exchange? I support our participants with weekly calls and help them keep on track with their action plans.
What experience do you have which led you to work with Enterprise Exchange? Working with people to reach their potential as a support worker, working as an administrator in many different settings. Volunteering as a teaching assistant for an arts and craft project/class.
Which aspect of your work do you enjoy most? Talking and helping people.
When you're not supporting Enterprise Exchange what do you enjoy doing? walking on the South Downs and being out in nature, travelling when possible! I love going to see live music, I am trying to teach myself ukulele, I have played guitar over the years but a little rusty these days.
Tea or coffee? Also how do you like to drink it? definitely prefer coffee, strong with a little milk and definitely no sugar!
How can people best contact you? firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much!
2020 a success?! We look at the booming business start-up of 2020 and why starting your own business could be a valuable choice during/post the pandemic.