Inmates to Entrepreneurs teaches those with criminal records how to start their own businesses
New York, N.Y., November 4, 2018 – Inmates to Entrepreneurs, a free program that teaches people with criminal backgrounds the skills they need to start their own businesses, held their #SecondChances Conference at Brooklyn College this weekend. Attendee Nikki Chandler of Brooklyn called the conference a “life-changing” experience that “will shift my paradigm from poverty to wealth- building.”
Inmates to Entrepreneurs (“I2E”) founder, tech entrepreneur Brian Hamilton, has been leading business start-up classes in prisons for 26 years. “When people get out of prison, they have very few choices. They don’t get good jobs,” Hamilton explained, “So, our idea is, let’s turn them into entrepreneurs and they can create their own jobs.”
Josette Mills, who attended the #SecondChances Conference, called it a “’teach a person how to fish and they shall eat for a lifetime’ experience.” I2E focuses on helping students learn how to start low-capital businesses, like painting, cleaning, and landscaping services, with as little as $500.
I2E graduate Donald Brown from Greensboro, NC, put in 94 job applications after being released from prison. Brown’s experience, according to Hamilton, is common, “The problem is that when they’re trying to get a decent job, their applications often get thrown into the garbage because of their backgrounds. We just want to level the playing field.”
Nickia Baker, an I2E graduate who started an event planning company, said she took the I2E course after realizing she had to “figure out a way to create ‘yesses’ when everyone else was telling me ‘no’.” “I had to develop a system that would create a way out, and an open door for me and my family,” explained Baker. “I realized that if I’m ever going to get away from the system and be successful, I’ll have to create my own company and make my own destiny.”
Over 70 million Americans are estimated to have a criminal record. I2E, which has taught thousands of people, is now expanding nationwide, fueled with funds from Hamilton’s sale of Sageworks earlier this year. The organization, with support from the Brian Hamilton Foundation, plans to launch classes in Atlanta and Washington at the beginning of next year, and then accelerate expansion to other cities. Information about Inmates to Entrepreneurs and its programs can be found on its website: https://inmatestoentrepreneurs.org/.
About Inmates to Entrepreneurs
Inmates to Entrepreneurs, supported by The Brian Hamilton Foundation, assists people with criminal backgrounds in starting their own businesses by providing resources and mentorship. Our goal is to reduce the rate of recidivism in the United States by providing an alternative path to financial stability and success. To learn more, visit inmatestoentrepreneurs.org.
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