Phil Ashford and Benna McCartney, our directors at Enterprise Exchange, joined Matt Smith from the Centre for Entrepreneurs, serial founder Oli Barrett MBE, actor and investigative journalist Ross Kemp and the Governor of for a Dragon's Den style pitching day at the prison.
This was filmed as part of an ITV documentary looking at how inmates at Belmarsh are offered the chance to rehabilitate, through business and entrepreneurship education.
Enterprise Exchange are a specialist agency focusing on helping people with additional barriers, such as prisoners or ex-offenders into self-employment. Research by the Centre for Entrepreneurs has shown that prisoners often possess an entrepreneurial mindset, and self-employment is an ideal route for their rehabilitation.
From back to front: Phil Ashford - Director Enterprise Exchange, Oli Barrett - MBE, Matt Smith - Director of Policy and Research Centre for Entrepreneurs, Deidre Stirling - Trustee Centre for Entrepreneurs, Georgia Grainger – Administrator and Participant Support and Benna McCartney – Director Enterprise Exchange.
Over 30 prisoners applied for the popular self-employment programme at HMP Belmarsh, which focused on helping offenders (due for release within 12 months) prepare business plans to start their own businesses after release.
During the 5-week self-employment programme, a group of 15 prisoners were supported and mentored by Enterprise Exchange and business owners and helped to build a business plan. Many of the business ideas had a social enterprise focus and during the pitches the judges heard a range of ideas including: a music studio, a boxing club for young people at risk of gang culture, a recruitment agency for ex-offenders, a dog walking business, a drama group which would go into schools and a charity which would provide clean water for refugee and conflict zones. The overall winner received a £1000 grant, jointly funded by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and Enterprise Exchange, to help make their business a reality on the outside.
This is Phil working his magic to engage and inspire business ideas, go Phil!
Our whole team and all the volunteers involved, worked effortlessly to support the prisoners.
The TV programme aired on 9th January 2020 on ITV and is available to view on catchup HERE, until 8th of February 2020.
If you would like Enterprise Exchange to train your client group in self-employment, or if you are working in a corporate environment and would like to get involved in our Management Development Programme, then please contact Phil Ashford on firstname.lastname@example.org.