Through the Gate Support Programme

Kick Off in Business operates across a large number of public and private prisons providing the offender population with qualified and accredited ‘through the gate’ business start-up advice and support. Across the HMP estate, over 100 learners attend our courses every week.

Although delivered through the education department, our specialist Trainers are all self-employed, have NOMS clearance and are fully qualified to provide business start-up advice. Our refreshing, informative start-up events are quickly becoming the first choice for many learners and providers. Since Kick Off in Business switched from outside to in, the programme has helped over 2,500 people.

Our ‘through the gate’ support provides a clear pathway, priceless continuity and stability for learners at a time when the landscape is cluttered, noisy and confusing. This support extends to working with other specialist ex offender agencies to tailor a package of support to the specific needs of each learner. Each of our courses carry a formally recognised business qualification. They are delivered via a series of short, punchy, fun and engaging sessions designed to provide learners with sufficient information for them to launch a business.

Support for learners immediately after release can have a significant influence on their resettlement. Our Through the Gate aftercare package is available to all learners across the UK, wherever they relocate. All they need to do is pick up the phone to speak with one of our specialist team. The telephone number is 0333 005 0344. This gives access to a full and comprehensive range of start-up advice tools and references.

Call the helpline...

0333 005 0344

How it works 

Step 1 - Recruitment

Subject to HMP category, we perform all our own learner recruitment. Promotion devices include posters, flyers, wing visits, group sessions, inductions, progression & other vocational courses. In HMP Ranby and Glen Parva, Kick Off in Business has been embedded into each Construction and Trackworks cohort to improve learner employability outcomes. Subject to the learner age and profile Kick Off in Business also offer a range of incentives including T Shirts, A4 Wallets, Books and our own phone credit incentive scheme.

Step 2 - Action Packed Courses

Each of our Trainers is a business owner. Each is qualified to SFEDI Level 5 in Business Start up support. We purposefully deliver short, low calorie quals in order to layer as much useful and live information as possible within an event lasting a little as 2 days or as long as 8. The events are fun, engaging and packed with award winning Business Start up advice. Each learner receives a full range of learning resources and reference materials. The low calorie quals coupled with modest cohort sizes provide an environment to deliver tailored advice to each learner. Advisors and Learners then jointly complete an Action Plan to map out additional pre and post release activities and points of reference.

Step 3 - 1:1 Intensive Care

Returning to the Action Plan, each Learner is provided limitless 1:1 support pre-release. There is a meeting request system created in each venue. This is an opportunity to provide further tailored advice and importantly to coordinate any other agency support available to the learner before the release date. To limit the noise and confusion post release, we coordinate meetings and contact with other support agencies such as Start Up Loans, Princes Trust and JCP while still inside. As a formal partner to the Start Up Loan Scheme and the New Enterprise Allowance programme we can work with the learner so that all of the necessary preparatory work such as business plans and forecasts can be generated before release. Critically, this ensures support is

available from day 1.

Step 4 - Through the Gate Support

Man for man marking. The same Advisor pre-release continues the support post release. The gate becomes invisible. Kick Off in Business offers a range of field based and online support services from face to face meetings, a telephone helpline and a designated online package. During this TTG journey, it is our job to facilitate a seamless introduction to those agencies contracted to continue specialist support whether that be the Start Up Loan Scheme, New Enterprise Allowance programme or Princes Trust package. Kick Off in Business is a formal partner to PeoplePlus and MCF Loans.