STARTUPNOW for Women

Since 2010 Startup has worked with over 1200 women, offering high-quality business advice, support into self-employment and peer mentoring. Supported by a range of funders including Big Lottery, the Startupnow for Women project has delivered a 1% re-offending rate for the 348 who have set up their own business, compared to national figures as high as 65% withing 2 years.

The impact of the award-winning peer mentoring programme, delivered by women who are themselves ex-offenders and have compelling life stories to share, is a major factor in the success of the project.

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Breaking the Cycle

The aim of Breaking the Cycle is to prevent or reduce offending amongst vulnerable and disadvantaged young women facing challenges in their lives. It delivers life skills coaching and employability training supported by peer mentors from the Startupnow for Women project. They share how they’ve overcome their own challenges to set up a business and offer practical workshops, “day in the life” experiences and 1:1 mentoring support.

Startup’s initial focus for delivery was urban centres in Oxfordshire and has expanded across Buckinghamshire and more recently Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Warwickshire. Outcomes include entry into further education, gaining work experience with a Startup mentor, training, becoming employed and setting up their own business.

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Startup Awards

Startup’s work has been recognised with several prestigious awards for which the Charity remains incredibly grateful. Some of them are:

• Centre for Social Justice award

• High Sheriff of Oxfordshire award

• Howard League for Penal Reform community award

• MBE awarded to the Chief Executive for services to the rehabilitation of women offenders

• OCVA Oxfordshire Charity of the Year

• Partners of Prisoners Crystal Hearts award

• RBS Natwest Skills and Opportunities Fund award


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Contact us

If you need more information about Startup, get in touch using the details below or using the contact form. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


Bicester Innovation Centre, Commerce House

Telford Road, Bicester, OX26 4LD


01869 249219


info@startupnow.org.uk