The Entrepreneurship Magazine honors our teachers Walid Nakara and Maryline Bourdil with results of an original survey about business creation by former prisoners!


Drs Walid Nakara and Maryline Bourdil are Teacher-researchers from Montpellier Business School and specialists of social entrepreneurship and human resources. They have just published in the Entrepreneurship Magazine their scoping study they led from 2012. Because of a scarcity of information about this topic, they were charged to facilitate understanding of entrepreneurship among former prisoners.

This qualitative survey has been based on 22 semi-directive interviews. For both professors, it has not always been easy to interview former prisoners who have become managers; indeed, prisons are a field of study difficult to access. “There is nothing of tangible or really organized for these people who have a real problem of professional integration after their sentence mostly in a difficult economic context. Our idea was to spot features of former prisoners who succeed their integration by creating their jobs” Dr Nakara precised. “According to annual reports from Ministry of Justice, 61% of prisoners in France are re-incarcerate within 5 years after their release. It’s huge compare to some European countries. However, some of them who are enough confident can avoid it by becoming independent through business creation or social association. However, they had to pass by a very resilient process. This is for them a way to regain self-esteem and change the course of their destiny without neglect their former mates of which they are very solidary and of which they take a role of model in the after-prison.

Indeed, currently in France there is not a plethora of organism who offers to prisoners a training for entrepreneurship. It is still personal initiatives, sometimes it comes from former entrepreneurs retired who go for free in jail to meet prisoners. Yet to the question “Could entrepreneurship be a solution for the reintegration of former prisoners” Our researchers reply yes: “Facing the problems of former prisoners to get a paid employment but also needs of freedom due to their incarceration, entrepreneurship seems able to constitute a privileged solution for some of them. Therefore, entrepreneurial project would be created to answer the need of freedom of former prisoners who have become entrepreneurs” Dr Marylin Bourdil added.

“Recent newspapers teaches us that the Employment Pole would like within end of the year convince 70 000 unemployed people to try entrepreneurship! So, what about prisoners? Our idea follows this path, don’t forget that unemployment increase incarceration rate and so risk of recurrence. And considering the specific context of prisons, public powers should take a part and support this kind of initiatives.” Drs Nakara and Bourdil added.  They are already solicited by associations to think about it.

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