Own It: Starting a Business after Prison

Own It: Starting a Business after Prison

Can entrepreneurship help to reduce recidivism? AKA, can starting a business stop someone from going back to prison? Let's find out.

Episodes

June 10, 2021 28 min

"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...

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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 caliber of men that supported him through his journey, that he knew when he got home that he needed to share their stories ...

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October 1, 2019 31 min

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://themip.org/clients/ricky-kidd/

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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 min

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. 

Visit FOI ETC: http://www.foietc.com/

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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:...

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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 min

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 first entrepreneurship competition for formerly incarcerated people, hosted by Determination, Incorporated.

The Rise Up, Get Started Entrepreneurship C...

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January 15, 2019 31 min

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 min

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 to mentor, and often leave with their eyes opened as well.

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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 and have a recidivism rate of just 7%. Josh is a graduate of the program, and joined the staff after leaving p...

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October 1, 2018 32 min

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 Fountain Fund can ensure that their clients have the necessary support ...

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September 14, 2018 32 min

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 min

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.

https://www.turningleafproject.com/

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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 the streets, where she was sex trafficked, addicted to drugs, and arrested more than 100 times alongside 7 stint...

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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/

Emily worked for the federal government in the Department of Housing and Urban Development before starting All ...

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July 18, 2018 30 min

A.J. Ware is the co-chairman of Inmates to Entrepreneurs, a North Carolina-based program whose mission is perfectly encapsulated in its name. Inmates to entrepreneurs introduces currently and formerly incarcerated people to the opportunities and obstacles of starting your own business, and helps people make and execute a business plan both pre- and post-release from incarceration. Inmates to Entrepreneurs has been refining their mo...

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Joyce Klein is the director of FIELD at the Aspen Institute, which advances microenterprise business ownership as an economic opportunity strategy. In 2016 she published a paper called Prison to Proprietor: Entrepreneurship as a Re-Entry Strategy: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/prison-proprietor-entrepreneurship-re-entry-strategy/

The paper looks at multiple programs for supporting currently and formerly incarcerated ...

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Tamra Thetford is the Chief Program Officer at Justine Petersen, a St Louis-based nonprofit that helps people build their credit so they can reach their goals. The organization started by helping folks work toward home ownership, and eventually expanded its services to include a path to entrepreneurship.

Tamra is here to tell us about Justine Petersen’s business program for formerly incarcerated people, Aspire Entrepreneurship Init...

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May 24, 2018 43 min

Jason Cleveland is a returning citizen and the founder and CEO of Obodo, a software for small human services organizations. He was recently selected as a member of the first cohort of Unlocking Futures, an accelerator run by New Profit and John Legend’s organization, Free America.

Jason is a dynamic guy and also runs an entrepreneurial workshop in a prison in St. Louis, MO. He has a beautiful vision for activating natural born entr...

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