Own It: Starting a Business after Prison

Own It: Starting a Business after Prison

We bring you real life stories of what it takes to start a business after prison from people who have been there. We’re bringing you hope, advice, and plenty of laughs. We want you to succeed, to get out of prison and never go back, and to live the life of your dreams. Own It is brought to you by Determination, Incorporated, a nonprofit in Kansas City, MO that helps formerly incarcerated people start and grow businesses. To learn more about our organization, and to join our virtual Be the Boss Business Support group community for formerly incarcerated entrepreneurs, visit our website at www.unlockESHIP.org.


October 9, 2023 55 mins

Leslie Walton is the Entrepreneur Success Manager at Determination, Incorporated & the Founder of A Cents of Change where she empowers women to build a better relationship with their money. Leslie is a lifelong entrepreneur who loves helping other people reach their own definition of success. From her wide ranging life experiences, including getting her MBA & starting a catering business with food stamps, Leslie has id...

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Ricky Kidd spent 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He lost his appeal 11 times before finally winning and regaining his freedom. During that time, he focused on getting “better, not bitter,” and learned how to not just survive, but to thrive in terrible circumstances. Today on the show, Ricky shares how he turned his resilient spirit into the five keys of resiliency that anyone can use to make it throug...

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When Diamond Fuse got a felony at age 19, she wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to make anything of her life. That is, until she learned how to take charge of her own destiny through the power of vision boards, positive affirmations, and manifestation. When she made her first vision board in 2012, she didn’t have enough money to fill up her gas tank. By 2016, Diamond owned her own home, had a college degree, and completed...

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When Sarah Muntean started her first business All American Construction Contractors in 2013, she had recently been released from prison, she was homeless, and not many people in her life believed she could succeed. Through pure grit, and by staying humble and learning on her feet, Sarah grew her business year over year to hundreds of thousands in revenue and was able to hire many people in transition and recovery. 

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"I've turned my pain into purpose." That's Latahra Smith, owner of Trinity First Aide & CPR Services and Executive Director of the KC Freedom Project. After being released from prison, Latahra had to overcome a lot of obstacles to heal relationships with her family, to reset her life with a renewed mindset, and to start her nonprofit and business. She has lost family members tragically and been mistreated by the criminal justice sy...

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On his podcast “Escaping the Odds,” Aaron Smith interviews second chance entrepreneurs who have started successful businesses after returning home from incarceration: https://anchor.fm/aaronesmith

Aaron conceived of the show while he was spending nine years in prison for drug crimes. He was so impressed by the cali...

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October 1, 2019 31 mins

Ricky Kidd is the founder of I am Resiliency, a speaker, an entrepreneur, and a recent exoneree in the state of Missouri. Ricky served 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Today he shares his story, and how he used that time to grow as a man, a leader, and an entrepreneur. 

Learn more about Ricky's case and the Midwest Innocence Project: https://the...

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Lamont Carey is an author and entrepreneur from D.C. who has been featured on HBO's Def Jam Poetry and the tv show The Wire. His journey to successful business owner started after prison when he realized that in order to dream big, he needed to do right by others and make his hustle legit. 

Keep up with Lamont: https://www.lacareyenterprises.com/

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July 17, 2019 58 mins

Jabari Muhammad and his wife own FOI ETC. They sell fragrances, oils, and incense at stores and online, and are the creators of the Bari Butter. Jabari honed his entrepreneurial skills on the streets in KCMO, and became the upstanding business man he is today in prison. 

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Welcome to Own It: Starting a Business After Prison, a podcast where we interview second chance entrepreneurs about what it really takes to start a business after prison. For the next season of the show, we will share the firsthand experiences of formerly incarcerated people who have started successful businesses. These episodes are called "Drafts," and will be rough and full of inspiration and education. Enjoy!

Learn more: www.det...

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Paige Johnson is a successful entrepreneur in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the founder of the Gilded Sparrows Network. The team at Gilded Sparrows works with women with justice-involvement to help them create product-based businesses that are beautiful and profitable. https://gildedsparrows.org/ 

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May 6, 2019 26 mins

Marcus Bullock started a construction company when he got home from prison, and now he is the founder and CEO of Flikshop: www.flikshop.com  

Marcus is the keynote speaker at the Rise Up, Get Started Entrepreneurship Celebration in Kansas City, MO, on Thursday, May 30, Kansas City’s ...

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January 15, 2019 31 mins

Johnny Waller is exactly what this podcast is all about. After years of gang banging and time in prison, Johnny left the street life to pursue his education and stumbled into running a successful business. Today, he helps with violence reduction campaigns in Kansas City, Missouri and shares his story to inspire others to lead their best lives.

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November 13, 2018 33 mins

Sonja Skvarla is the founder of A Social Ignition, a prison entrepreneurship program in Portland, Oregon. www.asocialignition.com


A Social Ignition workshops focus on business feasibility and values-based decision making, while using entrepreneurship to bridge social networks. Business professionals come into the prisons ...

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Josh Munoz is the reentry manager with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program in Austin, Texas. Prison Entrepreneurship program, or PEP, is widely considered the gold standard in entrepreneurship programs for currently and formerly incarcerated people. https://www.pep.org/

Since 2004, PEP graduates have started 361 businesses...

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October 1, 2018 32 mins

Carl Brown is the program manager with The Fountain Fund in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Fountain Fund helps formerly incarcerated people by providing them with low interest loans that they can use to repay fees incurred during their involvement with the criminal justice system. https://www.fountainfund.org/

By helping them out with their immediate needs, The ...

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September 14, 2018 32 mins

Bobby Clark is the founder and president of Sustainable Business Ventures in Lexington, Kentucky. Bobby helps people who are having a hard time getting a job find their way through entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on folks in rural communities and the formerly incarcerated. http://www.sbventures.org/

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August 30, 2018 31 mins

Amy Barch is the founder of Turning Leaf Project, a nonprofit in South Carolina that helps formerly incarcerated people change their attitudes, thinking and behavior using a cognitive behavioral intervention, a research-backed, evidence-based solution to helping people stay out of prison.


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Christine McDonald is the author of “Cry Purple”, her memoir, and “The Same Kind of Human” a book about “seeing the marginalized and exploited through the eyes of grace.” http://www.christinesvision.org/

The wisdom and insight Christine shares in “The Same Kind of Human” is hard-earned; she spent 17 years homeless and on t...

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Emily Hunt Turner is the founder of All Square Restaurant and Institute, a social enterprise in Minneapolis, Minnesota that sells grilled cheese and empowers formerly incarcerated people by teaching them how to take charge of their own destinies through entrepreneurship and the study of law. https://www.allsquarempls.com/


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