Raleigh, N.C.– Inmates to Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit that provides free entrepreneurship education and mentorship to people with criminal records, is celebrating its first class of Greensboro graduates on Oct. 25, at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship. The 30 graduates have completed Inmates to Entrepreneurs’ free eight-week course covering modules on entrepreneurship essentials.
Inmates to Entrepreneurs, headquartered in Raleigh, was founded by Sageworks co-founder and entrepreneurship advocate Brian Hamilton in 1992. Since then, Brian and the program’s mentors have taught entrepreneurship to thousands of men and women in more than 50 correctional institutions. The organization’s eight-week course is offered in cities across North Carolina, and its one-day entrepreneurship seminars are being offered across the country through a national tour that kicks off in New York City next month. The courses are open to anyone with a criminal record, not just those who have been incarcerated.
Brian Hamilton, founder of Inmates to Entrepreneurs said, “Our long-term vision is to create a volunteer program with national scope where people with a criminal background who have subsequently started businesses and who feel passionate about helping others in their shoes can offer mentoring. We believe that the second chance offered in owning a business is a powerful force against a return to old habits or mistakes.”
“We are proud of the dedication shown by the students in our Greensboro class,” noted Inmates to Entrepreneurs Co-Chair, AJ Ware, who himself is a successful entrepreneur. “Teaching these classes and connecting with students is my passion. I have been in their shoes and want to help them take those next steps.”
Entrepreneur Bobby Martin, author of “Hockey Stick Principles,” will speak at the graduation. Through his experience of starting and selling First Research for $26 Million to Fortune 500 firm, Dun & Bradstreet, Martin has learned first-hand the challenges and solutions at each stage of entrepreneurial growth. “’Hockey Stick Principles’ provides concrete advice about how to turn good ideas into successful companies,” explained Martin. “From what I have heard about these Greensboro students, they have some pretty great ideas. I look forward to seeing them launch.”
Greensboro’s Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, which provided its space for the courses and graduation event, is dedicated to empowering the local community through entrepreneurship. Lisa Hazlett, communications and external affairs manager at the Nussbaum Center, noted, “Meaningful relationships is one of the core values of the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship. Partnering with Inmates to Entrepreneurs fulfills this value and furthers our mission of ‘Turning Entrepreneurs into Business Owners.’”
Inmates to Entrepreneurs offers mentoring opportunities to current or former business owners. To volunteer or to find out more about Inmates to Entrepreneurs, visit www.inmatestoentrepreneurs.org.
About Inmates to Entrepreneurs
Inmates to Entrepreneurs provides resources, mentorship, and hope to help people with criminal backgrounds start, grow, and run low-capital service businesses. Our vision 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.