Sefton and Liverpool Women in Business

“Inspired to Independence”

A course for female ex offenders which looks at how building a solid future and attaining financial independence will empower participants to support themselves and their children.  Achieved by building self confidence, raising aspirations, exploring employment and volunteering opportunities.  Participants learn about self employment and the basics to consider when setting up your own business, to make this an accessible option, as convictions often prevent women securing meaningful employment. Women are also taught how this helps them in becoming better role models to their children, thus lessening the likelihood of re-offending and reducing the revolving door phenomenon.


Courses range from 12 – 16 weeks depending on cohort and are usually run in the same location as probation is housed.  Each week there is an hour long workshop followed by an opportunity for one to one mentoring for those who need additional support.


The course is split into 2 topics, which can also be run independently:


Personal Development:  We  look at women as individuals, stripped of any labels they have been given.  We explore their likes, dislikes, passions, skills, hidden talents, fears and worries.  Using a variety of techniques we establish what it is they enjoy, are good at and then begin to explore how that can be translated into a career.  We then look at what issues they have regarding self confidence and self esteem and how that affects their aspirations in life.   This stage aims to unlock some more positive feelings towards themselves, start building their self confidence and creating a personal development plan to continue to increase self confidence and build on those talents and skills we identified.


  • Exploring self confidence and self esteem.
  • Understanding that low esteem or confidence lowers their aspirations.
  • Looking at how low aspirations affects their future as well as those of their families, particularly children.
  • Addressing the effect aspirations can have on criminality, careers and relationships. (At this point we look at domestic violence, substance misuse etc.  and signpost to partner organisations where necessary).
  • Creating individual personal developments plans (often signposting at this point) to raise esteem and confidence.
  • Women then identify their unique skills and passions, and look at how they can be translated into potential business ideas.


Employability: We look at the women’s personal development plans and options available to them to achieve their full potential.  We look at courses to achieve any necessary qualifications, but will focus on how to set up your own business as this is an ideal option for women generally, but an exceptional way to work around the barriers a criminal record presents.  We do not anticipate that all participants will become determined to have a career in self employment, however we know that a basic understanding of how a business works will be a positive asset to them, especially considering they may have little or no previous work experience. At the end of this course, each beneficiary will have a clear path to follow with ongoing support routes.


  • Women explore the following topics or business basics:
  • Career options – is enterprise right for me?
  • Market research
  • C.V.’s /Business plans
  • Business Types
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Managing Money – from both a business and personal perspective.
  • Funding a Business
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Competitors
  • HR Requirements
  • Business Premises
  • Prising, USP and Sales Techniques

Copywright Sefton & Liverpool Women in Business CIC 2014

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