Skip to main content

Mission Creek Inmates Build Plan for Self-Employment after Release with the B.O.S.S. Program

April 18, 2016

By Judy Gerren

Department of Corrections

wide view from the back of the class

BELFAIR - Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women (MCCCW) has teamed up with the SCORE organization (Service Corps of Retired Executives) to offer an exciting new program for female inmates who have an entrepreneurial spirit. The small business workshop and mentoring program helps the women learn how to run their own businesses to support themselves after release, which contributes to public safety and reduces the chance of returning to prison. Fittingly, the new program is called B.O.S.S. – Building Opportunities for Self-Success.

Incarcerated women at the facility often spoke to MCCCW Correctional Unit Supervisor, (CUS) Angela Hosking with concerns about how their past will keep them from succeeding. Some had dreams of starting an espresso stand, others wanted to own catering companies, and another wanted to sell her handcrafted dog treats.

CUS Hosking contacted SCORE, a nonprofit association that’s dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground. SCORE provides their services, education, and mentorship at no charge and is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organization has more than 10,000 mentors across the United States and have helped dreamers start 50,000 businesses in less than two years.

On April 8, Mission Creek hosted a workshop for about 70 highly motivated women led by Richard “Dick” Larkin, a certified SCORE mentor. Larkin is a retired Boeing director and has been a professor with the Business Department of nine colleges and universities located throughout Washington, Maryland, and Germany. He currently members the Business Management Advisory Committee with Olympic College and authored the Small Business Owner’s Desk Reference book.

Larkin stressed at the workshop that the women can own their own business and their felony records will not hold them back as long as they stay motivated, work hard, and choose a business that is in line with their passions and strengths. As part of the program, Larkin will meet individually with the B.O.S.S. participants once a week to generate a business idea, develop a business plan, find startup resources, and then connect them with another mentor in the area they release to so they can continue building on their self-success.

Who knows, maybe one day soon your canine companion will be enjoying a gourmet dog treat made by one of DOC’s successful offenders!