Her multiple-award winning program Leonhard | Unternehmertum für Gefangene (“Entrepreneurship for Inmates”) helps prisoners build small businesses and provides them with a second chance for self-accomplishment and a successful road to entrepreneurship!
Maren Jopen (38) runs her enterprise in one of Germany's darkest corners: in a prison.
After her graduation in business administration she worked several years in a leading position of a large telecommunications company. In spite of all the resistance she experienced from her personal environment, she decided to terminate her carrier in order to build together with her father the program Leonhard | Unternehmertum für Gefangene (“Entrepreneurship for Inmates”). In this program, based on a curriculum similar to an MBA, the inmates learn how to start a small business of their own or, with their acquired entrepreneurial skills, how to find adequate employment.
This program evolved into an earnest building block within the socio-professional integration of inmates, which now successfully showcases low relapse and high employment rates. From a first idea and a personal visit to a high security prison in Texas, USA, the movement developed across a network of, meanwhile, over 1,000 companies, business leaders and advisors.
Numerous newspapers and TV-stations cover the program; it received multiple awards.