Who We Are
What if you were known for the worst thing you’ve ever done? Would you want a chance to redefine yourself—a fresh start?
Established in 2004, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a Houston-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are pioneers of innovative programs that connect the nation’s top executives, MBA students and politicians with convicted felons. Our entrepreneurship boot camp and re-entry programs are proven solutions for reformed inmates who thrive on challenge and accountability.
We are on a mission to stimulate positive life transformation for executives and inmates, uniting them through entrepreneurial passion, education and mentoring.
Our ground-breaking success hinges on the execution of this mission and on the application of our core values.
PEP’S TEN DRIVING VALUES
1. “Fresh Start” Outlook
PEP believes that every inmate is a human being in need of a true second chance (which for many may actually be a legitimate first chance). We will treat every inmate with respect, regardless of background or personal history. We strive to equip human beings to achieve their full potential. We believe that people can change, dignity can be restored and as a result society will reap bountifully.
2. Servant-Leader Mentality
PEP believes that with leadership comes the overriding responsibility to be of service to others. We believe the contributions we make in the lives of others are far more important than our own accomplishments. We will lead by example with humility at the sacrifice of personal glory. PEP exists because of our desire to serve all those with whom we come in contact, especially our participants, executives, partners, donors, prison staff and the community at large.
We are committed to service in love. PEP staff and leaders will be patient and kind, never envious or boastful or rude. We will not seek our own way nor be easily provoked; rather, we will bear all things and endure all things. We will rejoice in the truth and always seek out the best in others.
We embrace a pioneering spirit and are constantly in the pursuit of innovation and improvement in our efforts to help others. We expect dramatic change. We are committed to seeing beyond the current perception, and even the current reality, to break stereotypes and shape new futures.
We believe that without accountability, neither our participants nor the executives with whom we work will be changed by the program. We will do everything in our power to help the participants succeed in life, but we provide only opportunities and tools; participants must want to change. Consequently, PEP only commits time and resources to those who demonstrate a desire to help themselves. PEP enforces a “no wiggle room” accountability program with participants.
PEP volunteers and employees will likewise be held to a high standard of accountability, being required to take ownership of their initiatives and follow through with their commitments.
We model and require complete honesty and integrity in all our relationships and endeavors. Integrity means more than simply the absence of deception; it means we are completely forthright in all our dealings. We say what needs to be said, not simply what people want to hear. We are truthful with ourselves, listening attentively to feedback from others as they speak into our lives, correct us and reveal to us our blind spots.
We place an emphasis on execution—the ability to get things done. We expect to deliver outstanding and timely results. Big thoughts don’t matter if they are not turned into action. Self-discipline is a core element of our organization’s culture. We sweat the small stuff. We hire people with a strong track record of successful execution.
Work is an important part of life and it should be fun and rewarding. We seek to create a work environment that encourages laughter, imagination, fellowship and creativity. We regularly celebrate positive results and recognize those involved in the success.
We are dedicated to pursuing excellence in every area, despite the difficulties which arise from setting high standards. We seek to work with and learn from the best of the best. We are dedicated to developing excellence in leadership throughout our organization—leadership of projects, ideas and the promotion of our 10 Driving Values. PEP is committed to working with people and organizations who share our values and mission.
10. Wise Stewardship
We are committed to the mentality of a steward: someone entrusted with another’s wealth or property and charged with the responsibility of managing it in the owner’s best interest. We will apply donors’ funds as promised. We are committed to being a lean organization, and as a staff, we are also committed to modest salary and expense levels. We use funds intelligently, efficiently, and strategically to achieve maximum benefit for all whom we serve.