THERE’S MORE TO LIFE AFTER PRISON

10 Dec 2021

Truly, entrepreneurship does not discriminate just basing upon one’s criminal record. It encourages ex-offenders to pursue opportunities that best suits their skills, attributes and interests while offering them a more flexible environment in which to reintegrate with society. Here’s how entrepreneurship benefits them:



Entrepreneurship gives felons self-direction. Being out of prison is both a blessing and a curse. Yes, you’re totally free from isolation, restriction, and confinement, but the truth is, it is total hell. You don’t have a sense of direction where to begin, because you’re building your life literally from rubbles.


Rather than waiting for a miracle or for someone to approach you and provide you with a job, you have the power to make a difference in yourself. Now is the time for you to prove to yourself that you are capable enough to make great things. You are not a failure, you are just simply figuring out how to jive with life.


The key to overcoming this challenge is to provide you with necessary resources for you to be successful in restarting the course of your life. In a study conducted by Valera, Brotzman, Wilson, and Reid (2017), this might include reentry training and education while incarcerated, supervision after release, and providing resources to find housing and employment. According to them, these are called “institutional and community anchors.” These have been identified as a significant component of successful reentry

programs.


And after that you may start to look for sources for funding from correctional facilities like from where you’ve been, the HelpForFelons.org, the local community, federal loans, grants, microloans, crowdfunding, online lending, and so much more. For more info, you can refer here.



Entrepreneurship gives felons freedom and independence. Is being a boss your ultimate dream since? You can now make it happen! Being an entrepreneur gives you an unlimited coverage of freedom you’ve always dreamed of, at the same time, you are finding your niche, honing your passion, and testing your limits. It’s an incredible journey to celebrate!



Entrepreneurship lets felons avoid employment issues. Such a horrible thing to experience upfront that because of your existing criminal record you can’t get easily find a job. In a research entitled, “Employer Aversion to Criminal Records: An Experimental Study of Mechanisms,” employers view criminal records more negatively than other evidence of the same illegal conduct when deciding to hire a potential candidate.


Although, a number of states have enacted laws that prohibit arbitrary bans on employment applicants with criminal convictions, the truth is, there are still no existing federal laws that explicitly prohibit employment discrimination based on a criminal record. Also, limited skills, poor health, and race or area of residence often reflect a “mismatch” based on the qualifications set by employers on the demand side of the labor market.


Being incarcerated is already mentally damaging how much more, being declined for a job just because you have an existing criminal record.


Therefore to eliminate these bad experiences, better start a business on your own to take charge. You won’t even have to go through the interview process, you won’t experience discrimination from those people who don’t really know your worth even though you’ve point your edge and being determined to get accepted for the job.


Imagine working for yourself! Isn’t that exciting? Cheers!

HOW ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROVIDES OPPORTUNITIES FOR FELONS ?

10 Dec 2021

Can ex-convicts make the best entrepreneurs? Some of you may think of them as dangerous, antisocial, and exhibit violent behavior,

but the reality is, you just watched too many movies.


Convicted felons, like everyone else, often want to change their lives for the better once they’ve served their time in prison. Most of them want to start a small business, in which they can call, an achievement or a milestone to treasure in their life after coming out

from their cold, dark cells.


According to a 2016 report conducted by a UK-based entrepreneurship foundation, The Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE), it found that 80% of prisoners are interested in starting their own business. This is compared to about 40% of the general population.


Here, much of their traits make them suitable for an entrepreneurial career such us having a strong urge for self-achievement, personal innovation, and the desire for independence.


Not just that, there is so much impact once these ex-prisoners enter entrepreneurship because the said report also reveals that turning prisoners into entrepreneurs could reduce the repeat offender rate from 46% to 14% nationally.


Yet with all those positive reviews, it is easy to say than do. They have more difficult time of it, since there’s still some prejudice against ex-felons. Because of the already existing stigma, former inmates may not have social network, insurance, financial support, or any other sources they need to secure just the basic of the human needs like food, clothes, and shelter. Much worse, they also face numerous psychological challenges including shame, isolation, instability, and discrimination. They experience great difficulty in reconnecting with the community, considering the environment they live in for months, years, or decades.


Going back to the question, in an objective view, our answer would be, why not? It should be a big YES! No questions ask. Felons were already prepared for entrepreneurship even more than they could have prepared earning an MBA. Their experiences in prison made them stronger, bolder, practical, and wise. There’s definitely lots of reasons why ex-convicts make the best entrepreneurs but to top it all off, here are distinguished qualities prison has instilled in them:



Ex-felons being experts in bootstrapping.  Aside from prison riots, crappy living conditions, and the absence of Internet, the average prisoner gets a rationed state diet of fewer than 1,300 calories per day (even a Sprinkle's cupcake has more calories) that is often skimpy, lacks nutrition and entirely unappetizing. According to The Guardian, in some prisons inmates are fed on less than $1.20 a day.


Impact Justice’s six part report, Eating Behind Bars: Ending the Hidden Punishment of Food in Prison reveals that 94% reported that they did not have enough food to feel full.


Not only just that, every inmate gets the absolute bare minimum issue of commonly required items (e.g. 2-inch golf pencil, 2-inch toothbrush, state-issued toothpaste, a roll of toilet paper, a pair of pants, a pair of boxers, two pairs of socks, an undershirt, an over-shirt and a small towel). Nothing else follows.


Their current situation has significantly pushed them to figure out to hustle in order to generate more resources. The inmates have to be relentlessly innovative and are forced to bootstrap their limited assets to maximize their resources. A “hustle” could mean anything from stenciling portraits onto bandanas, offering tattoos, selling photos of their exes (the most popular of all hustles), carving sculptures from soap, etc. As an inmate you are forced to operate at your most optimal efficiency to leverage those already-scarce.

Bootstrapping is definitely a skill that when applied to entrepreneurship is very useful for any newly formed startup.



Ex-felons being comfortable with the unknown. The prison is filled with uncertainties facing complex scenarios. An inmate is constantly moved around the system, from unit to unit (sometimes prison to prison), and get to mix with net set of people --- so much unknown stops and experiences.


The only certain for you will be ‘uncertain’. You try to figure out how to adapt in changing environments and changing scenarios. That’s why they learn to get comfortable with the unknown; allowing them to be more fluid with expectations and helps them roll with the startup punches.


Same goes when operating a startup business, every day is a new challenge, an obstacle you need to figure out to overcome. As what they all say, “A new level, a new devil…” There’s no road map to guide you for doing prison time, and certainly no road map for building a startup.



Ex-felons being likely to have a healthy disregard to rules. When you compare an entrepreneur to an ex-convict, certainly, you’ll found more similarities than differences. Guess what’s the most notable trait among the two --- they all have mutual, healthy disregard for rules.


For an entrepreneur, disregarding rules would be seen as the defining moment in his career, which is very healthy. He is pushing the envelope of what society dictates and builds a business where one did not previously exist ever before.


While for an ex-convict, he took the rule-breaking thing too far. He really disregarded the rules to the point that it made a permanent dark remark on his civilian record making him a huge threat from the society, and so then he should be ordered to be put behind

bars.


But here’s the twist, if an inmate will be soon enlightened from his wrongdoings, decidesto harness his ambition and direct it toward a positive goal, then disregarding can be a powerful motivating force. It can lead to unparalleled success in the system once he is

freed.


Still, his new version of ‘disregard’ needs to be harnessed and used for the common good; otherwise, it will become the reason for that high rate of recidivism as previously described.

IMPACT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP ON A NATIONAL SCALE

3 Dec 2021

Having to create those key stimulations, entrepreneurs can now initiate a much bigger wave to impact a country’s economy. Their wealth-creating exercise is a key driver of economic growth. What everyone see is just the finish product, but unknown much to everyone, they have to take a risk or two just to enjoy success; delivering wealth for the whole country. Their spirit of dedication shall serve as a wake-up call for many an ailing industry and economy. By cultivating a sense of entrepreneurialism, governments can reap ultimate benefits along with effective and legal frameworks.


Entrepreneurship promotes social change. Having unique talents for identifying market failures with skills in tailoring and implementing solutions, entrepreneurs are the basic pioneer of bringing new technologies and systems that ultimately bring changes to the whole society. They can bring significant change or break the tradition or cultures of society and reduce the dependency on obsolete methods, systems, and technologies. These changes are generally associated with generous thinking, improved lifestyle, better morale, and higher economic choice.


Entrepreneurship promotes commerce and regional economic integration. As entrepreneurs export goods and services to nearby regions, their companies contribute directly to a region’s productivity and earnings. As a result, it strengthens an economy and promotes the overall welfare of a population.


Entrepreneurship contributes infrastructural development. Entrepreneurial efforts open up local infrastructural development; leading to the development of transport and communication networks. In Africa, distinguished companies like Keroche and Dominion farms opened up their localities. This enables thriving businesses to take root, taking advantage of the good transport and communication channels available.


Entrepreneurship promotes innovation. Through well-executed research and development, entrepreneurship brings new innovation that opens the door of new ventures, markets, products, and technology. For that, entrepreneurs solve problems that existing products and technology have not yet solved, thus, having the potential to improve peoples’ lives.


Entrepreneurship addresses environmental challenges. With innovation drive, entrepreneurship can address pressing environmental issues we face today (e.g. combating climate change, cutting down greenhouse gas emissions, and preserving biodiversity in the environment). Without water, we cannot survive. Without power, commercial industries will be put to a halt. So relying on already-existing innovations (e.g. water irrigation technology, electricity, urban infrastructure, etc.) increases productivity and accelerates economic growth.


Entrepreneurship develops and improves existing enterprises. You often think that entrepreneurs dissolve or completely change existing systems or invents new products and ideas from time-to-time, but you’re wrong. They also impact existing business. With their different way of thinking, entrepreneurs can expand and develop existing enterprises in production processes, distribution and marketing processes, or they can help utilize existing resources in more efficient ways.

HOW ENTREPRENEURS STIMULATE A COUNTRY’S ECONOMY ?

15 Nov 2021

Investments - Economic progress will much depend upon the entrepreneurs’ contributions. They will invest in products and services which the people need and what is required for the economy. These investments, specifically business investments, will then ensure stability not just for the state, but also a better life of the people knowing that more goods and services will be available for them.

Business investment can affect the economy’s short-term and long-term growth. For short term growth, as business investments increase, there’s also a direct increase in the current level of gross domestic product (GDP), because physical capital itself is produced and sold. You should know for a fact that, business investment is one of the more volatile components of GDP which tends to fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter. While for long term, a larger physical capital stock increases the economy’s overall productive capacity, which then allows more goods and services to be produced with the same amount of labor and other resources. Long-term economic growth generally depends on growth in the economy’s productive capacity rather than swings in supply and demand. In turn, faster economic growth generally translates into faster income growth and improved living standards.

 

Employment -  Entrepreneurs set up various businesses and establishments, thus, generating employment in the economy. An increase in employment rate helps the country’s economy by increasing the GDP. Entrepreneurs aka employers hire employees for manpower to fuel business operations, while employees need jobs for money to sustain their day-to-day needs.

As employers provide income for their employees, the employees will now have enough money to spend for their basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, and other necessities. The more these employees spend, the more that demand increases. When the demand for a certain product or service increases, companies increase their output to meet the increased demand. Companies do this by investing more and increasing their manpower. Therefore, more workers start the cycle over with there being even more money spent in the economy, increasing the demand further.


Various goods and services - As entrepreneurs provide a diverse array of products and services, their consumers have much to choose from. After all, a consumer want to have a  good bargain and if his/her choices are more than he/she can get these products or services at reasonable rates. In addition, personal desires are met if there are lots of products and services to choose from. Having a diverse array of good and services, satisfies human wants, increases production, and ensures high level of investment.


International/global trade - Entrepreneurs promote international trade by selling products abroad. They want to widen their market. If there are more consumers to their products, the higher their profits.


In the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) Trade Report in 2015, it reads, “…International trade can promote world economic growth and development. Trade among nations offers a mechanism to reduce global poverty, which may decrease child labor and pull developing-country workers into jobs with improved working conditions. Trade can also be a force toward the empowerment of traditionally marginalized groups; for example, some empirical evidence suggests that decreased discrimination against women is related to the effects of global competition brought about by trade. Trade also facilitates the spread of new green technologies throughout the world, which decreases emissions and improves air and water quality.


Gross National Product (GNP) contribution - Entrepreneurs make much contribution to the national exchequer and to the national economy as whole. The more products and services available, the higher the GNP --- indicating the economic prosperity of the country. The GNP of the country is calculated based upon the total number of productsand services available in a respective country.

WHAT DOES ENTREPRENEURSHIP DO FOR THE ECONOMY?

13 October 2021

From spurring social change to improving the way people live and work, entrepreneurship is important for a number of reasons. It creates employment opportunities, supports philanthropic charities, drives innovation, increases healthy market competition, opens up infrastructural development, contributes community development, identifies existing opportunities in the market, and so much more.


But did you know, entrepreneurship can also be considered a national asset? It plays a vital role in the development of a country’s economy as this is one key contributor to innovativeness, product improvement, reduction of unemployment and poverty mitigation.


Entrepreneurship, which basically means the practice of starting a business in the hopes of earning a profit on newfound opportunities, can go a very long way to stabilize a nation’s economy, at the same time, generate massive returns to the government. The practice of entrepreneurship can impact the economy of a country in a number of ways. But before you can say there’s an impact, there should be what we call a “stimulation.”


Stimulation is how an entrepreneur performs in contribution to the economy through various means. An economy is structurally dependent upon the performance level of its entrepreneurs. To be more elaborate, the progress of a country will be based upon his or her skill and talent, as well as, hard work to deliver necessary goods and services required by the citizens of his or her country --- playing a vital role in the national income growth, plus raising the per capita income of the people.

WHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE BEST ALTERNATIVE TO A 4 YEARS DEGREE?

10 June 2021

Here are reasons why entrepreneurship is the best alternative to a four-year degree:


Entrepreneurship is a life skill - Most people enter college just to learn how to build and run their own business or to get employed at a big corporation. If you are an entrepreneurial-minded person who is eager enough to implement ideas and gain real-world experience, why not enter entrepreneurship? You could learn better by doing

it.

Unlike college which is more on theoretical learning digging on assumptions and concepts, one of the biggest advantages of getting started with entrepreneurship at an early age is practical learning. Here, you’ll have greater opportunity to learn important life skills such as teamwork, networking, problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation,

self-discipline, etc. All these skills can help you later in life.


Entrepreneurship is no waste of money - It’s a form of life investment. You can avoid the crippling student debt which mainly affects many graduates. In a poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, people were asked whether college is actually worth the money. It later revealed that 49% agree that a four-year degree is worth the

cost, but almost as many as 47% said that a degree isn't worth it "because people often graduate without specific job skills and with a large amount of debt." Among the young people polled, 57% felt a four-year degree wasn't worth the high price tag.

On average, a four-year degree now costs somewhere between $40,000 if you’re enrolled in a state public college and a staggering $150,000 if you’re studying at a private university. Shockingly, there are over 3,000,000 Americans over the age of 60, who are still paying off their student loans.

That’s why, if you want to try business ownership through franchising, much of the start-up work is done for you and you are following a business model that could get you to cash flow much quicker.


Entrepreneurship is an essential tool for a secure future - It is only during the pandemic that people had more time to think about entrepreneurial solutions. The health crisis adds more to the economic uncertainty. Therefore, young people, dropouts, or non-degree holders, consider entrepreneurship as a way to take control of their future. They can create solutions while boosting local communities and creating socio-economic change and accelerate sustainable growth.


Entrepreneurship prevents you from getting excluded in the labor market - Now that more and more people have lost their jobs during this global crisis, the issues about income loss, increased difficulties for employment, and even poor quality of employment, are on the rise. Fortunately, if you start a business you cannot only protect yourself but you can also create decent jobs for your peers and for the other people of different ages in need of an occupation.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: WHY PEOPLE ARE TURNING TO IT?

05 Nov 2020

Here are other reasons why they are turning to entrepreneurship and not having to get tied down by structured learning in pursuing a bachelor’s degree: 


Work and life balance - Compare to full-time employees needing to get work done during office hours, business owners have the power to set their own schedules and determine their own lifestyles. According to a 2014 survey by Bentley University, roughly two-thirds of millennials would like to start their own businesses. They would like to work on their own. The youth, as entrepreneurs, can strike a balance between work and life without sacrificing their productivity.


Better things to do with money - Like I’ve said earlier, the average cost for a year of college weighs in at $35,720 a year. Some can go to school for much less than this due to scholarships, or by receiving in-state tuition, but the average student loan debt doesn’t lie. According to the Department of Education in their most recent data from

March 2021, the average student loan debt in America is $37,062 for borrowers with federal student loans. Student loans have surpassed all other forms of debt in the U.S. aside from housing debt. 

You can do so much things for just $30,000 or even lower than that! To give you an idea, Shark Tank judge Sara Blakely has turned a $5,000 investment into an Oprah-approved garment called, “Spanx” which now generates $400M in revenue per year. Another one is the AI service provider, InsideSales.com, which started in 2004 with a $10,000 investment to over a quarter billion dollars.


Four years is a long time - Taking a four-year degree is like waiting for a thousand years, they couldn’t find the will to sit through classes anymore. If you can’t have complete focus on your study, then you should probably think of doing something else. I am not talking about those people who skip their classes just to party somewhere or play video games, I am talking to those who really have the desire to change their life and to find meaning with their potential for change and growth.

If you’ve already started business early in your life, you could probably think of important things to improve it. In short, you can focus on it well. Time is something you will never get back, it’s precious, so don’t spend it doing something you hate.


Quest for meaning - Young people of today want to feel that they accomplish something significant. This is very opposite to what they’ve observed with traditional office jobs as being boring or menial, so they simply reject that fate.

They take a non-traditional view of the business landscape and strive to find their own niche, wanting to “make their mark.” The millennial generation is known as an environmentally friendly generation, they want to get involved with companies that are striving to make the world a better place as they make their own impact on society.

In simplest sense, young people want to find personal and financial satisfaction by starting businesses that have a strong focus on sustainability.


Job security - Initially, entering entrepreneurship is going to be much of a risky move than getting a job. It will take a while for you to build your company, your reputation, etc. However, as you progress in your entrepreneurial career, your job security greatly increases as you become established.

Whereas if you’re a corporate worker, you will start off with high compensating salary and benefits. What no one told you is that 20 years down the line when the corporation you are working for thinks they are paying you too much, you get the axe and all of the sudden kicked out of your job. This will be much difficult for you, knowing you already have responsibilities in your plate and no income to pay the bills. Plus, you’re too old to get easily accepted on your next job, age discrimination is ‘real’ in the industry. Though, you’ll only gain stability over time as an entrepreneur, it’s a matter of sacrifice.


Therefore, as adults, seeing the young striving for self-growth, financial stability, and future security, it is a humbling experience to learn the values of life through them. Being a college dropout or not having a bachelor’s degree will never be a hindrance for success. It doesn’t lie within the four walls of the classroom, it is all about the choices you make --- it is the choice of learning a much essential life skill which lies only beyond entrepreneurial career.

WHAT DOES 4 YEARS DEGREE GIVE YOU?

21 Aug 2019

As most student aspirants would say, college for them is considered to be the finish line after running the twelve-year race in the educational system. By studying in college, you will get to learn some soft skills (e.g. ownership, accountability, time management, prioritizing, and emotional maturity), more high-paying and interesting jobs will be available for you, more essential information with the field of expertise you’re taking, self-independence, getting out of your comfort zone, and so much more. But sometimes, it costs more than it's worth, and sometimes, it could not be the end that is in mind, knowing the fact that attending college is insanely expensive. According to

Education Data Initiative, the average cost of college in the United States is $35,720 per student per year. The cost has tripled in 20 years, with an annual growth rate of 6.8%.

Also, think about the debts accumulated due to student loans and the amount of stress you have to endure. Some jobs don’t need for you to require a 4-year degree and in fact, they pay you well like veterinary technicians, radiologic technicians, and dental hygienists. Also, some famous and rich people didn’t have a college degree. Think of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Ellen DeGeneres. They commonly started a semester or two of college, but eventually dropped out without graduating. Indeed, attending college is a risk and an opportunity to undertake. It’s uncertain. This is why most youth in the present, want to become entrepreneurs and don’t want to be confined inside the classroom