What do we mean by entrepreneurship?
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor defines entrepreneurship as:
"Any attempt at new business or new venture creation, such as self-employment, a new business organization, or the expansion of an existing business, by an individual, a team of individuals, or an established business".
For some people with criminal records, becoming self-employed may be their only way of securing employment, of generating income and being a contributing member of society through the payment of their taxes. Barriers to mainstream employment, as a result of their past, may result in them feeling that they have no other choice but to become self-employed. In other cases, starting their own business has been their life-long ambition. The actions contained in Working to Change are designed to address some of the most significant barriers and present self-employment as a very real career option for people with a criminal past.
One practical way of supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship amongst people with a criminal past is to show them that it's an option. The Prison Entrepreneurship Programme (PEP) is one action that will assist with this process.
PEP is an in-prison, classroom based business development and mentoring programme with the programme being loosely based on the successful Texas model which has been in place for a number of years.