James Gourlay, about 5 years ago
For those being released from prison there is often much anxiety around where they now fit within society. What can I do to earn money, and, the often overlooked question what can I do to be accepted, to feel that I am welcome in the community? Both of these worries can be remedied in to one solution, and project ReMAKE seeks to offer this.
We spoke with Kameel Khan, the founder of Project ReMAKE in the UK, and asked why he wanted to bring this project to the UK.
Kameel first came across Project ReMADE while spending time as a fellow at Stanford University, USA. ReMADE is delivered over four months, and is run in tandem with Stanford University law students, business students, and with mentors from Silicon Valley. Through out the course students are given extensive teaching on business planning topics, helping to flesh out their business idea, and develop a knowledge tool kit so that they can understand and operate all aspects of their business venture. The opportunity it gives its participants is overwhelming, and the case studies show its profound success.
What appears to have struck Kameel the most though is the power of the network that ReMADE helps the budding entrepreneurs to develop. Kameel says that the participants of the course when coming to Stanford “will buy the hats, they will buy the Stanford t-shirts, and wear them on campus”, a sign of how they feel they are now part of that community. This shows just how powerful a vehicle opening up the most cloister parts of our society to those who would not have access to them can be. It cannot only provide people with knowledge and tools, but with a sense of ownership, and of belonging.
Having seen this Kameel decided to bring this programme to the UK, and Project ReMAKE became the UK sister project of Project ReMADE in the US.
At its launch event the collaborative approach that has been so successful with ReMADE at Stanford was clear with ReMAKE as well. The project will run at King's College London, with support delivered to the mentees by King's criminology students. The business training will be delivered by Prosper 4 Group, which has extensive experience delivering business-training courses, and supporting people with criminal records in to employment.
As with the Stanford project, links with organisations and individuals with deep connections within the business community is key, and organisations such as M&C Saatchi will be providing training to the entrepreneurs.
In the first week the course has focused on helping the mentees to understand the mentality needed as an entrepreneur, but they have also now started developing business plans, and working developing documents to try and secure funding for their vision. Showing the tandem approach of developing skills, and nurturing mentality which is at the heart of all both ReMADE and ReMAKE does.
With 14 budding entrepreneurs engaged in course there is already a wealth of exciting ideas. Facilities management, recruitment, web design, are just a few examples of the sectors that they aim to launch businesses in.
The Exceptionals will provide an update closer the course's graduation ceremony on 13th of December. If you would like to support Project ReMADE in anyway please do get in touch.