Inmates to Entrepreneurs Graduating Class Represents 19 States As the Nonprofit Expands Its Reach

Criminal justice advocate and venture capitalist Daniel Dart will deliver the graduation’s keynote address.

Raleigh, NC, March 21, 2024Inmates to Entrepreneurs announced today that 63 formerly incarcerated individuals from 19 states (plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico) are expected to graduate from the organization’s latest course on Tuesday, March 26.

“This program is so needed,” said graduate Rudolph Walker, who has owned several successful businesses and serves as a re-entry coach. “It gives you hope to succeed and not just accept the norm and struggle in life. The information and tools taught are critical to starting your own business. I will recommend this class to everyone that has been incarcerated,” Walker added.

Inmates to Entrepreneurs is a nonprofit that teaches people with criminal records how to start and grow their own businesses. The organization was founded in 1992 by entrepreneur Brian Hamilton, founder of Sageworks, to reduce the rate of recidivism in the United States by providing a path to financial stability and success. Previous graduates have gone on to start businesses such as landscaping services, coffee shops, catering businesses, car detailing companies, and equipment repair services.

“I knew from the very first time I visited a prison more than 30 years ago that entrepreneurship could be the answer for people coming out of prison,” said Brian Hamillton. “I’m immensely proud of our graduates, our team, and the growth of the program year after year,” Hamilton added.

On the heels of the successful television series starring Hamilton, Free Enterprise on ABC, Inmates to Entrepreneurs is growing significantly and expanding internationally. Through partnerships with like-minded organizations across the world, Inmates to Entrepreneurs will have a presence in Canada, South Africa and Australia this year. Additionally, Inmates to Entrepreneurs’ first graduate from Puerto Rico will finish the program this month.

Graduates attending next week’s virtual graduation will hear from Daniel Dart, who was formerly incarcerated and now runs a venture capital fund backed by world-class names like Gary Cohn, has two master’s degrees from the London School of Economics, and will soon have his MBA from MIT. While at MIT, he co-founded Sloan’s Prison Education Initiative. Inmates to Entrepreneurs is partnering with Dart to grow the curriculum of this new program.

“I was in prison without a regular high school diploma or any undergraduate degree. Most people wrote me off. But one thing I did have was a ton of grit and curiosity, and with that, I began digging and learning, and through entrepreneurship, I learned how to make things happen for myself,” Dart said. “I want others in my shoes to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we can change our lives,” he added.

Inmates to Entrepreneurs’ next free eight-week course begins on April 9 and is open to anyone with a criminal background who has started or is interested in starting their own business.

Members of the media are invited to attend the first half of the graduation on March 26, 2024 at 6 pm EST to listen to Dart’s keynote speech and speeches from two graduates. Email for the link.

About Inmates to Entrepreneurs

Inmates to Entrepreneurs assists people with criminal backgrounds in starting their own businesses. Our goal is to reduce the rate of recidivism in the United States by providing an alternative path to financial stability and success. Founded in 1992, it is the longest-running program of its kind. To learn more, visit