FAIRFIELD, CT — A Sacred Heart University alumnus is the star of a new ABC television series, “Free Enterprise,” which follows formerly incarcerated people as they pursue their dreams to start their own small businesses.
Brian Hamilton, a 1987 Sacred Heart graduate, is a lifelong entrepreneur and philanthropist, as well as a leading national voice on the power of ownership to transform lives, combat recidivism and create access to the American dream, according to a university news release. Hamilton founded Sageworks, one of the country’s first financial technology companies, and holds several patents on products used in financial institutions across the United States.
Since selling Sageworks in 2018, Hamilton has immersed himself in philanthropy. He created the Brian Hamilton Foundation, which oversees several nonprofit programs aimed at teaching people skills to succeed in business and making entrepreneurship education accessible to all. One such effort is Inmates to Entrepreneurs, the longest running program of its kind in the country, which guides formerly incarcerated people as they launch their own small, low-capital businesses. Hamilton also served on Sacred Heart’s Board of Trustees for a number of years.
“Free Enterprise” will share the journey of people who have struggled to find consistent employment because of their criminal records. They will work with Hamilton and his team of business experts and mentors to launch enterprises with little or no capital, providing a real-time view of product development, pricing, marketing and customer service. Along the way, viewers will see inspirational stories of self-reliance, hope, redemption and transformation.
“There is no larger and more unifying proposition in our country than the idea that everyone gets a second chance,” said Hamilton, who is also an executive producer for the show, in the news release. ” ‘Free Enterprise’ demonstrates that judicially involved people can take part in a most important part of the American dream: Having ownership. On the show, you will see real people starting simple businesses to become part of the American tapestry.”
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