‘Free Enterprise’ TV show helps former inmates trying to start their own business

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new television show on WWAY ABC features inspiring stories of redemption through entrepreneurship.

Free Enterprise shares the journey of formerly incarcerated individuals who dream of staring their own business.

The show, produced by Hearst Media Production Group, features one of America’s foremost entrepreneurs, financial technology (fintech) pioneer and Inmates to Entrepreneurs founder Brian Hamilton and is hosted by ABC News’ and ESPN’s Ryan Smith.

“The show is about helping people who have been incarcerated start their own businesses,” Hamilton said.

Finding employment or starting a new business can be difficult for those who have been in jail or prison.

“It can be hard to get a decent job coming out of prison because of the background checks and now you have social media on them,” Hamilton said. “So as an entrepreneur we’re about go out and start your own business and make your own reality, build some wealth and that’s what the whole show is about.”

Hamilton and his team of fellow business experts and mentors work with the entrepreneurs to help them launch businesses with low or no capital.

“We take people from the idea right through getting their first customer which is usually the biggest obstacle,” Hamilton said. “We are super excited about it. The stories are just amazing, these are real people, real lives.”

Hamilton says many of either have friends or family members or know people who have been ‘judicially involved.’

“Once you get that on you, its very difficult to start again,” Hamilton said. “America is the land of second chances.”

He says the show, which airs on WWAY ABC on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., is very affirming.

The episode which airs Saturday, May 8, features Derek Francis who is a car mechanic. The show highlights his past as well as his struggle to starting his mobile business.

“On the show you will see real people starting simple businesses to become part of the American tapestry,” Hamilton said.