Every year, more than 670,000 inmates are released back into society. Convicted felons have to deal with copious problematic tasks in re-integrating into the society. In fact, many companies require background checks and might not desire to hire someone with a criminal past. It is due to the fact that employers may feel that convicted felons pose a threat to the other employees or cause them other troubles. Luckily, there are still many organizations providing convicts with grants so that they can easily pursue their own entrepreneurial endeavors.
Importance of Looking for Business Grants
Convicted felons have the right to get licenses and run an own enterprise. Nonetheless, no grants are set up to assist felons in doing their business. Therefore, what people ought to do is to spend their time seeking for private funding opportunities for their entrepreneur.
Felons are treated the same as other citizens, and government grants are not established expressly for helping them. – (SBA)
Applying for a Grants as a felon
It is a fact that people do have a lot of inconvenience in searching and applying for grants once they are felons. Nevertheless, that cannot prevent convicts from getting their opportunities. The most important thing is to produce such strong and creative entrepreneurial ideas as well as a solid entrepreneurial plan. Besides, they need to demonstrate their solid business traits and a strong wish for better lives. Although there is still a stigma against felons, they may have a better opportunity persuading others into helping them to start a business than giving them a certain job.
Small Business Grants for Felons
Usually, the grant money that an ex-offender receives to start a business is not big enough for them to hire workers immediately. The only role of this sum of money is to support convicted felons in booting the business system. Although it’s a considerable challenge that everyone have to deal with, we still have one reliable source to seek for money necessary to start our own business. It is Idea Café, which is available for nearly all kinds of felons. This grant supports 1000$ in grant money and 1500$ in publicity for applicants whose business ideas seem to be most innovative.
PEP stands for Prison Entrepreneurship Program, a special fund which supports ex-felons even when they are still incarcerated. It was first founded in Houston, Texas USA, in 2004. The mission of PEP is to help ambitious felons pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Once joining this program, inmates have great chances to meet well-known business mentors and discuss to find out creative business ideas as well as learning how to make better pitches. What felons will gain are solutions to all problems they may face when their business is beginning. Besides, they will be also connected with MBAs, executives and politicians to obtain the support that they need. As a result, a variety of entrepreneurship ideas have come to light since then. The success rate of the PEP in having a recidivism rate of less than 10 percent, which means 90 out of 100 people will not need to come back to prisons after joining the program.
Another prestigious program we may consult is the Rural Micro-entrepreneur Assistance Program (MAP). Through this fund, many nonprofit organizations are given grant money in order to assist rural micro-entrepreneurs. This kind of support is conducted in an indirect way. Rural applicants, including ex-felons are considered subjects of this program.