Posts Tagged ‘return to prison’

Baylor University Certificate in Entrepreneurship

William G. was among the first PEP graduates to earn his Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business

Graduates from the Prison Entrepreneurship Program can now earn their Certificates in Entrepreneurship from Baylor University‘s Hankamer School of Business through a new partnership between PEP and the university. See the official press release here.

“We offer a ‘mini MBA’ program within the Texas prison system that transforms inmates into entrepreneurs,” said Bert Smith, CEO of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). Through the program, the inmates also develop complete business plans for a real venture that they can pursue after release.

During PEP’s Business Plan Competition at the Cleveland Correctional Center north of Houston, these inmates will pitch their business plans over 120 times — including to groups of more than 50 “free world” executives, entrepreneurs and MBA students who attend PEP’s in-prison eventsLearn more in this recent article in The New York Times.

Founded in 2004, PEP is a privately-funded nonprofit that engages executives, entrepreneurs and MBA students as volunteers in a values-based entrepreneurship boot camp that is offered within the Texas prison system. Each year, more than 5,000 inmates apply to be a part of PEP – but only the top 5 percent are selected for this elite program.

“Our graduates invest over 1,000 hours of work into our six-month Business Plan Competition class, which incorporates a college-level curriculum supplemented by Harvard MBA cases, the AP Writing Stylebook, Toastmasters, an employment workshop and a financial literacy course,” Smith said. “In addition, we focus at least half of our time on character assessment and development, built around PEP’s Ten Driving Values.”

“What impresses me the most is how these men not only complete this very rigorous program within a prison, but they do so while completing a full business plan for a real venture that they can launch after release from prison,” said Dr. Gary Carini, associate dean of the Graduate Program in Management & Entrepreneurship at the Baylor University Hankamer School of Business, and a member of the governing board for PEP.

PEP participants pitch their plans before panels of executive judges in a “Shark Tank” format at PEP’s monthly events. The presentations prepare the men for making their case in the free world – including to potential employers once they are released.

“I had been arrested four times before my 21st birthday,” said Harvey M., who graduated from PEP’s Class 10. Harvey is now rolling his first food truck in Houston. “Most of the world had written me off – but not PEP. They gave me the tools that I needed to succeed and even helped me to open my own business.”

Thanks to the preparation that they receive while in PEP, 100 percent of PEP’s graduates find a job within 90 days of release from prison. More than 120 of them have started their own businesses, including at least two that are now grossing more than $1 million in annual sales. And most impressively, the organization boasts some of the lowest recidivism rates in the country: PEP’s three-year recidivism rate has been as low as <5 percent, compared to the national average of nearly 50 percent.

“After reviewing the caliber of PEP’s curriculum and the quality of their results, Baylor University has agreed to award a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Hankamer School of Business to every graduate from PEP,” stated Carini.

The partnership began in December 2012, when 70 PEP graduates earned their certificates by completing the PEP Business Plan Competition class and graduating in a full cap-and-gown ceremony attended by their friends, family and PEP executive volunteers.

ABOUT PRISON ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM
Established in 2004, Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a Houston-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are servant leaders on a mission to transform inmates and executives by unlocking human potential through entrepreneurial passion, education, and mentoring. Our groundbreaking results include a return-to-prison rate of less than 5%, employment rate of 100% within 90 days, and the successful launch of more than 100 businesses. www.PEP.org

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT HANKAMER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, the school offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study. Visit www.baylor.edu/business and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Baylor_Business.

washington postThe Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) was recently profiled in The Washington Post:

Case study: How can prison inmates prepare for success?

In 2004, the nonprofit organization Prison Entrepreneurship Program in Texas pioneered a program to connect executives, MBA students and politicians with convicted felons to redirect them into legitimate enterprises. The entrepreneurship boot camp and reentry program have achieved impressive results. Three-year recidivism rates in Texas hover around 25 percent, but have dropped to 5 percent for graduates of the program.

Check out the full article at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/case-study-how-can-prison-inmates-prepare-for-success/2012/09/28/7fc5aa24-0760-11e2-a10c-fa5a255a9258_story.html

PEP was also mentioned by Right on Crime in one of their recent articles, and was cited in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Thank you for being a part of our movement to transform prisons into places of opportunity!

A graduate of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), Gilberto spent a total of 14 years in prison. His last sentence was for eight years, during which he spent 5 and a half years living in segregation — completely isolated for 23 hours out of every day.

During this challenging time, his thoughts were not on himself. They were on his young son who was on the outside, wondering if his daddy would ever come home. He was still a baby when Gilberto was locked up for the second time, and Gilberto knew that he had to change in order to keep his son from following in his footsteps.

This is their story.

Put some PEP in your step

Put some PEP in your step — join us in prison!

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program is about to launch its 18th class this month! Check out our full schedule below, and RSVP at www.PEP.org/RSVP.

Class 18 Public Events

  • Kickoff . . . Friday, July 20 | 11:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Venture Capital Panel . . . Friday, August 17 | 11:30am – 5:00 pm
  • Concept Day . . . Saturday, August 18 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Excellence in Etiquette . . . Friday, September 21 | 11:30am – 5:00 pm
  • Selling with Purpose . . . Friday, October 19 |  11:30am – 5:00 pm
  • Business Plan Workshop . . . Saturday, October 20 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Pitch Day . . . Friday, November 16 | 11:30am – 5:00 pm
You can RSVP to any of these events at www.PEP.org/RSVP.

Class 18 Private Events (by invite only)
The following events are by invitation only; see your invite for RSVP information.

  • Class 18 Employment Workshop (Th, Nov 29 1:00pm-5:00pm)
  • Class 18 Business Plan Competition
    • Day One (Th, Dec 6 9:00a-5:00p)
    • Day Two (Fri, Dec 7 9:00a-2:00p)
  • Class 18 Graduation (Fri, Dec 7 2:00p-5:00p)

Ongoing Events

PEP also invites male volunteers (sorry, ladies!) to attend our Men’s Life programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 4:30 p.m.. Learn more here.

You Beat the PEP Challenge!In late January, PEP confirmed that our graduates’ three-year “return to prison” rate is now less than 5%. By contrast, the official state average is 24.3%.

In response, the seven individuals on PEP’s Board of Directors combined their efforts to issue a challenge grant of $110,000 to PEP. The grant would match every gift above $100 that was made between February 15, 2012 through March 31, 2012.

The result?

In less than 45 days, PEP’s donors responded by donating $117,047 — over seven thousand dollars more than we needed!

Better still???

When they heard about the results, several PEP Board members increased their commitment so that the full amount could be matched — for a total impact of $234,094 on our mission!

Thanks to our low recidivism rate, we conservatively estimate that the State of Texas will save $5 for every dollar that you invest in PEP … allowing these funds to collectively deliver a $1,170,470 impact on our state!

Thank you to everyone who donated to our campaign. Together, we are changing lives and transforming communities!

Half the Recidivism. Double your Impact.

To celebrate the lowest return-to-prison rate in our history, our Board of Directors is doubling all gifts over $100 made before March 31st … up to $110,000!

Last year, PEP estimated that less than 10% of our graduates returned to prison within three years of release. This year, we are proud to announce that the rate of recidivism has now dropped to below 5% thanks to your generous contributions of time and money.

You support a program that WORKS.

100% of the graduates in our post-release program are employed within 90 days of release, and they’ve started over 100 businesses!

Your continued investments will allow us to fully occupy the prison in Cleveland by the end of 2013. Together, we will transform hundreds more lives each year. Please click here to donate at least $100 before March 31, 2012 and make your gift count twice.

This includes recurring donations – so your commitment of only $25 per month will immediately secure a $300 match!

Double your donation. Double your impact.

Click here to give a gift.