Are you an entrepreneur who is interested in helping former inmates start and successfully grow their businesses? If so, consider becoming a mentor and leading a chapter in your area.

Check out this documentary on mentor Scott Jennings!

What is a mentor?

Inmates to Entrepreneurs mentors are current or former business owners who are interested in volunteering to lead group meetings for former inmates who are starting or have started their own businesses.

Who can become a mentor?

There are four requirements to become a mentor:

  • Must have founded and run a business for at least one year.
  • Must be willing to lead a monthly chapter meeting.
  • Must fill out the mentor application.
  • Must have a driver’s license.

While it is not a requirement, some of our most successful mentors are entrepreneurs who have also spent time incarcerated themselves.

What is required of a mentor?

Successful mentors do the following:

  • Start a chapter that meets at least monthly for former inmates interested in entrepreneurship.
  • Find a location for the chapter (a business or church, for example).
  • Facilitate the conversation at chapter meetings.
  • Network with local correctional institutions and re-entry programs to grow the chapter’s local membership.
  • Invite other successful entrepreneurs to attend meetings to help answer questions.
  • Speak about how to start a business at local correctional institutions (this is not required!).

How does Inmates to Entrepreneurs assist mentors?

Inmates to Entrepreneurs provides the following to mentors:

  • Mentor training materials, including videos and information on best practices.
  • Educational resources that can be shared with new entrepreneurs on how to start a business.
  • A listing of the chapter’s meeting time and locations on the Inmates to Entrepreneurs website.
  • Referrals of interested former inmates, entrepreneurs, correctional institutions and partner organizations in your local area who contact Inmates to Entrepreneurs.
  • A monthly check-in from an Inmates to Entrepreneurs staff member to answer any outstanding questions.

Do I have to start a chapter in order to be a mentor?

We would love for you to start a chapter, but if you are looking for other ways to get involved, see if there is already a chapter in your area that you can help with, or contact us to talk about other ways you can work with Inmates to Entrepreneurs.

Interested in getting started? Apply to be a mentor.

Do I need to fundraise or collect donations?

No. As an organization, Inmates to Entrepreneurs does not fundraise or request donations. None of your activities should require funding. If you have any specific questions, please contact us.


“I refuse to believe that your purpose on earth is to get up, work, pay bills, and go to sleep. You need to leave something for the people that are behind you. And in this program, this is what we are doing.”

AJ Ware
Inmates to Entrepreneurs board member and former inmate