About Inmates to Entrepreneurs

About Us

Wondering how Inmates to Entrepreneurs got its start? Check out this Duke Chronicle article about founder Brian Hamilton from 1992!:
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Mission: To assist formerly incarcerated individuals in starting their own business and engaging in entrepreneurship by providing resources, mentorship, and hope.

Vision: To reduce the rate of recidivism by providing an alternative path to financial stability and success.

Inmates to Entrepreneurs is a not-for-profit community outreach program started by Sageworks with the mission to help former inmates start over by providing them the information needed to become productive participants in society through entrepreneurship.

Inmates to Entrepreneurs is funded by Sageworks and does not fundraise or request donations. Inmates to Entrepreneurs supports former inmates interested in starting businesses in the following ways:

Online Resources

Inmates to Entrepreneurs provides a library of videos and other resources answering many of the most common questions people have on starting a business. Those videos can be found in the site’s Start a Business section.

Educational Seminars

Inmates to Entrepreneurs started when founder and entrepreneurship expert Brian Hamilton began regularly leading seminars on how to start a business at local correctional institutions in North Carolina. Today, Inmates to Entrepreneurs still leads these hour-long entrepreneurship courses at correctional facilities and out in the community. The seminars are free to both the institutions and participants.

Interested in hosting an educational seminar? Request a speaker.


In addition to online resources, Inmates to Entrepreneurs provides in-person group meetings, which are led by successful entrepreneurs, many of whom are also former inmates. Chapter meetings provide a place where new entrepreneurs can ask questions and get more personalized feedback from mentors and peers.

Visit Chapter Locations to learn more.


“You can still start from Ground Zero, no matter what your situation or past may have been. There is still opportunity for you. Leaving prison, you have to prove yourself again. A lot of people who have been incarcerated have struggled since leaving. There is a revolving door into and out of prison, partially because of society and partially because of the inmates themselves. If you want to change, if you have dreams, Inmates to Entrepreneurs is a good way to start tapping into them, to start letting what you’ve imagined come to fruition, and to start putting your goals on paper. It’s the first step. It might be a baby step, but it’s a step forward.”

Scott Jennings
Inmates to Entrepreneurs board member and former inmate


“America is a country of second chances. If people aren’t given a second chance, they will return to old habits and repeat their past mistakes.
Inmates to Entrepreneurs seeks to help people start over by providing them the information needed to become productive participants in our society.”

Brian Hamilton
Chairman, Sageworks and Founder, Inmates to Entrepreneurs