Homepage / Technology / How one organization is helping felons make the shift from prison to small business owners
Amazon says this Prime Day was its biggest shopping event ever Kudlow says President Trump is 'so dissatisfied' with China trade talks that he is keeping the pressure on As stocks regain their footing, an ominous warning looms Goldman Sachs downgrades Clorox to sell, says valuation is 'unsustainably high' How Satya Nadella has spurred a tripling of Microsoft's stock price in just over four years Kudlow says economic growth could top 4% for 'a quarter or two,' more tax cuts could be coming The one chart that explains Netflix’s stunning comeback US housing starts plunge 12% in June to a nine-month low Aerospace titans Boeing and Airbus top $110 billion in orders at Farnborough Target uses Prime Day to its advantage, logging its 'biggest online shopping day' so far this year Billionaire Marc Lasry sees bitcoin reaching up to $40,000 as it becomes more mainstream and easier to trade These are the 10 US airports where you're most likely to be hacked Amazon shares slightly higher as investors await Prime Day results Wreck of Russian warship found, believed to hold gold worth $130 billion A bullish ‘phenomenon’ in bond market is weeks away from fading, top credit strategist says Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: MS, GOOGL, TXN, UAL, NFLX & more Twitter shares up 50% since late April means most upside priced in, analyst says in downgrade EU fines Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Mortgage applications fall 2.5% as buyers struggle to find affordable homes America may not have the tools to counter the next financial crisis, warn Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson Investors are getting spooked as the risk of a no-deal Brexit rises EU expected to fine Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Ex-FBI chief James Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterm elections Elon Musk apologizes to British cave diver following baseless 'pedo guy' claim Disney, Comcast and Fox: All you need to know about one of the biggest media battles ever Xiaomi shares notch new high after Hong Kong, mainland China stock exchanges reach agreement The trade war is complicating China's efforts to fix its economy European markets set for a strong open amid earnings; Google in focus Hedge fund billionaire Einhorn places sixth in major poker tournament The biggest spender of political ads on Facebook? President Trump Asian stocks poised to gain after Fed's Powell gives upbeat comments; dollar firmer Stocks are setting up to break to new highs Not all FAANG stocks are created equal EU ruling may be too little, too late to stop Google's mobile dominance Cramer explains how Netflix's stock managed to taper its drop after disappointing on earnings Airbnb condemns New York City's 'bellhop politics,' threatens legal retaliation Amazon sellers say they were unfairly suspended right before Prime Day, and now have two bad choices Investor explains why 'duller' tech stocks can have better returns than 'high-flying' tech names Elon Musk is 'thin-skinned and short-tempered,' says tech VC Texas Instruments CEO Brian Crutcher resigns for violating code of conduct Google Cloud Platform fixes issues that took down Spotify, Snapchat and other popular sites Uber exec: We want to become the 'one stop' transportation app 'What a dumb hearing,' says Democrat as Congress grills tech companies on conservative bias Amazon shares rebound, report says Prime Day sales jumped 89 percent in first 12 hours of the event How to put your medical history on your iPhone in less than 5 minutes Investment chief: Watch these two big events in 2018 Even with Netflix slowing, the market rally is likely not over Cramer: Netflix subscriber weakness debunks the 'sky's the limit' theory on the stock Netflix is looking at watch time as a new area of growth, but the competition is stiff Why Nobel laureate Richard Thaler follows Warren Buffett's advice to avoid bitcoin Rolls-Royce is developing tiny 'cockroach' robots to crawl in and fix airplane engines After Netflix plunge, Wall Street analysts forecast just tame returns ahead for the once high-flying FANG group Roku shares rise after analyst raises streaming video company's price target due to customer growth China is investing 9 times more into Europe than into North America, report reveals Amazon says US Prime Day sales 'so far bigger than ever' as glitch is resolved Netflix is on pace for its worst day in two years US lumber producers see huge opportunity, rush to expand San Francisco to consider tax on companies to help homeless Homebuilder sentiment, still high, stalls as tariffs, labor and land drive up costs Powell backs more rate hikes as economy growing 'considerably stronger' Netflix history is filled with big stock declines – like today – followed by bigger rebounds Intel shares get downgraded by Evercore ISI due to rising competition from Nvidia, AMD Petco aims to reinvent the pet store with something you can't buy online Genetic testing is coming of age, but for consumers it's buyer beware Tech 'FAANG' was the most-crowded trade in the world heading into the Netflix implosion, survey shows Netflix weak subscriber growth may indicate a 'maturity wall' that could whack the stock even more: Analyst This chart may be predicting the bull market's demise Wall Street says Netflix's stock plunge is a ‘compelling’ buying opportunity because the streaming giant ‘never misses twice’ Tesla sinks after Musk tweets, again Boeing announces new division devoted to flying taxis Stocks making the biggest move premarket: NFLX, UNH, GS, AMZN, WMT & more Deutsche Bank downgrades Netflix, but says big subscriber miss is not 'thesis changing' IBM is experimenting with a cryptocurrency that’s pegged to the US dollar North Korea and Zimbabwe: A friendship explained Virgin Galactic spinoff Orbit to launch rockets from the UK with space deal Artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys? That’s what PwC says ‘Treasonous’ Trump and ‘Putin’s poodle:' Scathing headlines follow the Trump-Putin summit China’s fintech companies offer ‘enormous’ opportunity, investment manager says Trump's performance at summit with Putin was 'unprecedented,' experts say Walmart and Microsoft link up on cloud technology as they both battle Amazon European stocks seen mixed amid earnings; Fed’s Powell to address Congress How I knew I should quit my day job and run my start-up full-time: Viral website founder China's stocks have been trounced, but the trade war may ultimately be good news for those shares Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel bets on crypto start-up Block.one Asian shares subdued open after mixed close on Wall Street; energy stocks under pressure Amazon cloud hits snags after Amazon Prime Day downtime Netflix isn't doomed by one quarter unless people start questioning the long-term investor thesis Tech stocks set to sink on Tuesday after rough evening for ‘FANG’ Netflix plummets after missing big on subscriber growth This wristband lets humans control machines with their minds The U.S. has a rocky history convincing Russia to extradite computer criminals Amazon suffers glitches at the start of Prime Day Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in modern history 'The United States has been foolish': Read Trump and Putin's full exchange Goldman Sachs recommends these 5 highly profitable companies — including Nvidia — to combat rising inflation Goldman Sachs releases 'tactical' stock picks for this earnings season Three red flags for Netflix ahead of its earnings report The bond market may be raising recession fears, but don't expect one anytime soon Cramer: Banks are 'making fortunes' but are still as hated as they were during the financial crisis Putin told Trump at summit: Russia never meddled in US election


How one organization is helping felons make the shift from prison to small business owners

On one morning late this spring, dozens of inmates at Solano State Prison in Northern California scurried around the penitentiary’s gym, ready for a life-changing day. They were about to pitch their business ideas to a squad of Silicon Valley’s elite tech leaders and venture capitalists.

The prisoners were part of an entrepreneurship program by a non-profit company called Defy Ventures. The inmates, or entrepreneurs-in-training (EIT for short), take courses for an average of six months that teach them how to turn their small business ideas into reality.

Some of the classes teach them about business, some about life; they range from MBA-style instruction to character and parent education. Defy’s program has created 166 businesses and 350 jobs for graduates.

All are geared to build self-esteem and awareness in a group of people that Catherine Hoke, Defy Ventures’ founder, told CNBC’s “On the Money” are often forgotten. Hoke’s personal stake in the day comes from her own rise and fall: She was once a successful venture capitalist who made big mistakes, and landed in prison herself.

“I founded Defy as my second chance to give second chances,” said Hoke. “I’m the chief operating officer for Defy Ventures, and I work with these people to tell them why second chances are so important.”

Hoke’s message seems to resonate with EITs like Wayne Burleson, who said he entered prison in 1997 for murder at 20 years old.

“Prison worked for me,” Burleson said. “It got my attention and it caused me to look at the bigger issues of life. I think long-term. I never thought long term before. I didn’t see my life existing past 25.”

The EIT’s at Solano State engaged in a boisterous welcome of their visitors, a show Hoke said was meant to break the ice and alleviate any tension between the prisoners and volunteers. The two groups paired off in a speed-dating format to discuss the business ideas of the budding entrepreneurs. In one pairing, an EIT describes his business idea for an Uber-style app for barbers to a volunteer who actually does work for Uber.

“It’s got to get going,” said the inmate, “and make some money.”

Some of the ice-breaking exercises are revealing and deeply personal, underscoring the vast gulf between the worlds that divide volunteers and EITs. Many at Solano had either a mother or father—or both—who were also incarcerated.

“In our country, one of the statistics that makes me the saddest is that incarceration is a generational legacy that is handed down from one to another,” Hoke stated. “Seventy percent of the children of the incarcerated end up going behind bars.”

The ice-breakers between volunteers and EITs “create empathy,” Hoke told CNBC. “When they can appreciate and respect their differences, but still bond in their humanity, and realize yes, we all make mistakes, then great things can come of that.”

One of Defy’s biggest success stories is Coss Marte, a convicted drug kingpin who at one time made $2 million dollars a year running one of the New York City’s largest drug rings.

Marte, who lost 70 pounds while in prison after a doctor told him his weight could be life-threatening, decided to turn his weight loss into a business opportunity. He founded ConBody, a fitness studio that now has nearly 1400 members, and just opened a location at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Marte’s already hired 15 graduates of Defy’s programs, something he told CNBC he hoped was just the beginning.

“My dream one day is to create a direct pipeline from the inside out so that we can hire directly from the program,” he said. “We feel like we could disrupt the fitness industry”—much like Defy has “disrupted” his own life.

“There’s a whole holistic side of it, like building the relationship with your family, building the relationship with yourself,” Marte added. “The exercises that I went through in that program, you can’t beat it. It was just so real.”

On the Money airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.

Source: Tech CNBC
How one organization is helping felons make the shift from prison to small business owners

Comments are closed.