Venturing Beyond the Gates

Facilitating Successful Reentry with Entrepreneurship

Promoting self-employment among people coming home from prison will be challenging; it will require creativity, perseverance and the ability of professionals across fields to break down cultural barriers to build productive

As the nation struggles to address the social and economic consequences of mass incarceration, entrepreneurship has emerged as a viable alternative to traditional employment opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized individuals all over the world. The microenterprise development field, in particular, has demonstrated success assisting the hard-to-employ (e.g. welfare recipients, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees) transcend poverty through business start-up and development. As more and more people return from prison, many lacking educational and vocational skills necessary to compete in today’s labor market, entrepreneurship may represent a means of capitalizing on an underutilized pool of human resources.

Published by the John Jay College, The Prisoner Reentry Institute, 2007

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