Our Programme usually takes place between September and December and is held one evening per week, with detailed administration and planning work leading up to the programme, a full learning and development curriculum and an impact analysis/diagnostic afterwards.
Typically we take 12-16 ex-offenders (called entrepreneurs) who work with student and business mentors to formulate their business idea into a business plan and at the end of the course they present to a group of investors who give feedback and help in establishing the business. At the end of the university programme, there is a graduation ceremony which is significant for many people who have never graduated from high school.
We work with referring charity/third sector partner organisations to attract our participants. We work with a clearly defined syllabus which has a combination of classroom study and industry support.
We are working with the New Futures Network which is a specialist part of the prison service that brokers partnerships with between returning citizens and employers. As part of this effort, we are working with them on their Virtual Campus which is the technology platform for providing courses to people in prison.
The programme has been running for three years at King’s College University and Queen Mary University London and later in 2021 at University College London. Due to Covid-19, this course was successfully run on-line at Queen Mary University London.
We create community and purpose for marginalised men and women.
We are now seeking to grow our work, bring scale, and establish a sustainable structure for ReMAKE across the country.
We have an advisory business group, comprising Judge Kameel Khan (founder of ReMake), James Timpson, Rowen Bainbridge from Spencer Stewart, Andrew Leslau, Tim Levy from Cocoon Wealth, Band of Brothers and Bernadette Ross-Smith (COO).
We also work with external businesses – particularly the aspects of motivation and business ideas. In 2018, we spent three sessions visiting M&C Saatchi, The Magic Garden Pub, and Clink Restaurant at Brixton Prison. We visited the following in 2019: Brixton Prison again, Saatchi, Warner Music, Pecan Charity, Brigade Restaurant and Pret.
The culmination of the Programme is a “Graduation Showcase” in December at the Universities, where our Entrepreneurs promote their ideas and business plans. We then provide ongoing support, mentoring, applications for funding, and collaboration with other working partners. From our initial 2018 cohort, 16 started ReMAKE, and 13 “Graduated”. Our participants were 81% BAME, all had been previously incarcerated, and have all stayed out of prison to this day.
Hear more from Founder Judge Kameel Khan
"We teach the social capital required for them to be successful, but more importantly we create a community and create purpose in people who have been in prison."
We spoke with Dr Kameel Khan, the founder of Project ReMAKE in the UK, and asked why he wanted to bring this project to the UK.
Kameel Khan is a lawyer, Judge and former law professor. Before practicing he taught law at University College, University of London, Reading University and the University of the West Indies. He was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. While teaching he defended people on death row from the Caribbean before the Privy Council (UK), the highest court of Appeal for that region. He became a tax partner at a global law firm and later a judge in the Tax Court in 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 a project based on the Stanford University Project ReMADE in the US. At its launch and during its operation, the model has proved successful in the UK. 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 Band of Brothers, which has extensive experience delivering business-training courses, and supporting people with criminal records into employment.
Project ReMAKE was created by Judge Kameel Khan and is based on Project ReMADE at Stanford University.
James Timpson, Chair Prison Reform Trust
Lord Ramsbotham, Formerly Chief Inspector of Prisons
Rory Stewart, Former Prisons Minister
David Lammy MP