Entrepreneurship programme for prisoners expands into Lancashire

By Tim Aldred

28 Jul 2023

David Morgan of Entrepreneurs Unlocked

Entrepreneurs Unlocked has secured National Lottery funding which will allow it to bring its programme to two prisons in Lancashire.

The social enterprise works with people in prison and on probation to enable them to recognise, develop and utilise their entrepreneurial talent.

Individuals are encouraged to embark on a new pathway with advice and support learned from hundreds of people that have been in the criminal justice system.

Since its launch in 2019, Entrepreneurs Unlocked has worked with prisons in Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside and now, with the new funding will begin work with 160 people at HMP Lancaster Farms and HMP Prison Kirkham.

The programmes will feature entrepreneurial skills exploration sessions, self-employment short courses, smart subcontracting programmes for people wanting to learn about getting into construction, and offender to entrepreneur programmes.

David Morgan, Entrepreneurs Unlocked founder, said: "With almost two in three adults with custodial sentences of less than one year reoffending within 12 months of release, and the total cost of reoffending in excess of £18bn per annum, ways to reduce its impact on the individual and society is of value and benefit to all. 

“At Entrepreneurs Unlocked we identify and nurture the untapped entrepreneurial talent in the justice system and develop a mindset that changes people’s lives, reduces reoffending, and improves our communities. Our targeted mentoring programme for prisoners and people on probation in Lancashire aims to break the very costly cycle of crime, the cost of reoffending and the impact on their community.” 

Martin Powell, prison employment lead, reducing reoffending at HMP Lancaster Farms, said: “The Entrepreneurs Unlocked workshops provide a fascinating insight to how men can build their own business. The best part of the workshop for me was honesty, David Morgan stated that being self-employed is not easy, but he then built on the positives of breaking down these barriers.

“David communicates with the prisoners with honesty and integrity, these are key aspects that as a prison we need from our external partners as we believe that prisoners need to know how they can become better individuals, which leads to a reduced rate of reoffending.”

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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