Welcome to the Grow Inspires Academy

From Claimants to Contributors

The Grow Inspires Academy is a non-profit Company that works for social inclusion through enterprise.  We help people realise their potential by “packaging it” in ways that makes its value more obvious – empowering the economically inactive to gain the same sense of purpose as everyone else

Removing the Label

Often people find themselves defined by and unable to escape their past.  We help them re-author themselves to be the people they aspire to

Finding the hidden gem

Being told "you will never amount to much" becomes self-fulfilling.  Most of our clients have amazing talents that are simply not valued by conventional employers.

Building Confidence

Winning is all about getting out there and putting it into practice.  Small successes build the confidence to keep going until the gremlins of the past are banished.

Teaching "what to do" achieves little unless people become proficient at "how to do it"

There are plenty of courses out there delivered by accredited institutions, but all too often, these focus on credentials and measuring learning.  

But a certificate does not put food on the table or a roof over your head.  This is where accredited qualifications fall down - they are great for learning trades where activities are largely predictable, but outside that..

What made perfect sense in the classroom, suddenly seems poor preparation for the messiness of real life.  We really only learn when we do things, and those things need to be relevant to our individual challenges, the people we are selling to, and our own unique talents and proposition. 

This is where tailored individual development programmes based on getting into action bring huge benefits.  Even better is when peer support brings non-judgemental accountability, encouragement and the confidence to realise that when things don't work out, this is useful learning rather than a personal inditement on our failure.

Our focus is pretty simple; we help individuals identify the best way to sell their skills.

  • Individuals have different capabilities and psychological barriers to be worked through, enabling us to collectively
  • Identify what will work for each.  A single strategy rarely works for different people.
  • The best way needs to be discovered in the market through a process of trying out different ways for people to
  • Sell their skills, which often requires overcoming huge psychological hurdles

Whether people start businesses, sell their skills in the “Gig economy”, contract through an agency or gain PAYE employment, they will be more focused, confident and capable. We don’t claim to have all the answers.  Between us and the wider group, there is rarely a problem we cannot use innovation to solve, including funding.  Lots is possible on a shoestring including free websites, social media and neighbourhood marketing schemes.

Here’s what people say about working with us

To protect the privacy of our participants, we never publish their photographs or full names, but here is a small selection of comments


I felt really happy– for the first time I have developed something for myself. Prison robbed my confidence and this helped me restore it.  It enabled me to dream again and believe in myself.”


The main benefits came from doing assignments we set for ourselves and receiving individual feedback and interacting with other participants. .The group became a cohesive unit that pulled on each other connections, to get all our business off the ground and making money.


So, rather than throwing me out as a no hoper, because my housing situation reached crisis point, they showed me how to tweak my original business idea and mould it around my current circumstances. This is innovation in action. It is unique, it is different, and it is really rewarding.

Here is our awesome team

As an ex-offender herself, Eleri knows first hand what our participants are going through - not least because she has also got the scars from building multi-million pound businesses.

co-founder and director

Jake is an award winning mentor well used to working with young people to bring out their potential.  He also runs a growing telemarketing business and prospective councillor.

mentor and director

Mark has been delivering vocational education for longer than he cares to admit, is an award-winning mentor, a senior lecturer at University of Bristol and business owner.

Principal and director

Yvonne's infectious enthusiasm has brought the best out of many of our participants, but she is also a dab hand at social media marketing among many other talents

confidence coach

Our Impact


Successful Phoenix Graduates


Young people work placements secured


Not one of our ex-offender graduates has reoffended