Former Wilmington Inmates Get a Second Chance

WILMINGTON, N.C. — A local program that gives former inmates a second chance had its first Wilmington graduating class on Tuesday.

Inmates to Entrepreneurs has been around since 1992 and teaches its students how to start their own business

The free eight-week-program provides the tools for a different path to financial stability

Thirteen students graduated, each with a different business plan

The program, Inmates to Entrepreneurs, has been around since 1992 and teaches its students how to start their own business.

Co-chair A.J. Ware said it’s often hard to find a decent job with a criminal record, so the free eight-week program provides the tools for a different path to financial stability.

“We have a student that gave the story that he has applied 94 times to get a job, and they’ve all told him no because of his criminal history,” said Ware. “Well he can come in here and we say, ‘We don’t care, you know, what kind of history you have. Let’s go out and let’s start a business for you,’ and he’s done that.”

Thirteen students graduated, each with a different business plan, and one student says she’s eager to see what they have to offer the community.

“I didn’t know what an entrepreneur was but the[n] when Mr. Hamilton came to West Wilkes Middle School it changed my perspective on business careers.”

Caleb Huffman Student West Wilkes Middle School

Being a mentor… allows me to empower aspiring entrepreneurs with the business tools that they need to be successful in our society.

Monica Russell Mentor Inmates to Entrepreneurs

We believe that entrepreneurship unlocks the door to economic opportunity in the United States.

Margaret Froneberger Chief Executive Officer Brian Hamilton Foundation

Having your own company is for everyone, not just those born into privilege.

Brian Hamilton Founder Brian Hamilton Foundation