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Self employment and business advice for ex offenders

5th December 2019 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on 7th November 2019 at 2:00 pm

One event on 5th December 2019 at 10:00 am

One event on 5th November 2019 at 2:00 pm


Advice and support to build confidence, motivation and knowledge – including on being self employed or starting and running a business.


This is now available to book people on to

Dates for booking 1-2-1 time in Reading, both dates are Thursdays

  • 7th November

10am – 1pm in Reading CRC Office, 30 Greyfriars Rd., Reading, RG1 1PE

2pm – 5pm in RVA office, third floor, Reading Library.

  • 5th December

10am – 1pm in Reading CRC Office, 30 Greyfriars Rd., Reading, RG1 1PE

2pm – 5pm in RVA office, third floor Reading Library

If you want to refer a participant to us

Call us on 0118 9680813 or Email    Isabel@therealbusinessclub.co.uk

Please do not send people to these locations without first being in touch with us.

Advice and support in Reading

At the moment we are planning this to be 1-2-1 style.

We will meet people for between 1 – 1.5 hours.



The Real Business Club (TRBC) has extensive experience working with people who have a criminal record or a caution or who have lived life “on the edge” and have complicated lives.

As part of Stronger Together our role is to help people, including through knowing more about self employment.

Asking people about offences.

It is usually not a useful thing to admit an offence – with Stronger Together it is useful!

The Stronger Together participant forms ask the question about a criminal record. This can seem a bit difficult to ask about. Please encourage honest answers. Often people with a record think this will result in being excluded from something. Under Stronger Together it is a plus point to say a truthful yes! Help people with any question that may mean they remember something they did that was a while ago (an offence in teenage years for instance) can be relevant and can open up support.

TRBC has and will work with people who have committed all kinds of offences – minor to very serious.

If you are working with participants who can answer yes to these questions then please consider referring them:

Check out these…………..


Criminal record?


Recent or in the past and it is getting in the way?


Had a caution?


Frustration with getting jobs because of having to declare offence/s?


Want to know about disclosing an offence in the best way possible?


Need or want to know about self employment?


Got qualifications but not sure what to do?


Got a business idea and don’t know how to make it work?


Not got the confidence to get going?


Need to know about funding to get you started?


PLEASE refer them – we can help!

What TRBC can offer will be:

Personal advice to participants

Practical and friendly

Able to answer questions on what matters to participants

From real business people who help people get things right and make money

The advice we can offer covers all business areas including

Personal strengths and weaknesses

Managing money, debt and having routines in life

Managing money, practical tax, making sure you get the legal stuff right

Being a sub contractor for someone else 

Disclosure, DBS, debts and keeping to a budget

Bank accounts, handling cash and insurance

Being in a building trade and how to get this right

Being clear on what the business idea is and how to sell stuff

Customers – getting and keeping them

Me as a person and my relationships and what I need to think through

We don’t talk about “Business Plans” as such. People get put off by what they think this means!

Helping you refer people

As an individual working with your service users or BBO participants you may have thoughts like this about self employment/ starting or running a business:

  • “It sounds scary!” – You may have never worked for yourself or know someone who struggled.
  • “They couldn’t do that – it needs qualifications!” You may have perceptions of who or what kind of person can be self employed and run a business.
  • “That idea wouldn’t work!” – You may have perceptions of what a good business idea is or is not.
  • “No way – they couldn’t handle the pressure!” – You may think someone’s barriers are too great and they won’t be able to handle it.
  • “You have to be realistic!” – You may think someone is just “dreaming” and doesn’t stand a chance.
  • “There’s so much you need to know!” – It may be that you know some jargon and think it sounds complicated. You may have worked for yourself and it has not worked out.

Self employment or business is unlikely to be your expertise. Please don’t let these perceptions get in the way of referring a person to the self employment part of the Stronger Together programme! There are some “jobs” that are always likely to need someone to be self employed anyway – it is just the fact. For instance in all construction related industries, in hospitality, some care settings, drivers and logistics, arts and music and in hair and beauty salons. It is far more common these days for employers not to want to employ people but to have them self employed. People need to support to know what this really is.

For some people there are important or essential reasons to being self employed.

TRBC advice and support on offer through Stronger Together

What TRBC can do within Stronger Together is not just about the “business bit”. Our experience and skill is always about working with the person, taking time to understand circumstances, helping them build small goals and achieve.

In reality they may decide that self employment/ business is not for them – but have benefited from having the confidence to talk to someone, ask questions and make this choice themselves based on good advice. We will along the way have helped them think through “So what is right for me? What do I really want and how do I get there?” Then they may need a signpost to something else. This is all “outcome” for Stronger Together.

Why self employment/ running a business is a necessary option for someone with a criminal record

According to research the attitudes of the majority of employers, the disclosure needed and the, sometimes poor, preparation of those with a record to be able to disclose well are all barriers to employment. This can be for many years after an offence was committed eg a case we know of where a minor teenage offence 30 years previously was taken by the employer to say “No” to offering a job.

The Real Business Club track record

TRBC has worked with over a 1000 of people to help them start and grow. This includes helping people with criminal records. We have good relationships and understanding with probation and prisons. We have started and run our own businesses and know what it feels like as well as being empathetic and skilled coaches. We have delivered training to a wide range of people with broad abilities, learning capacities and styles, English skills and with mental well being issues. We take a person – centred approach in all we do.



5th December 2019
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


The Real Business Club
0118 9680813