Vanessa Bright - Incarceration to Entrepreneurship

Vanessa Bright – Incarceration to Entrepreneurship Initiative

The Incarceration to Entrepreneurship Initiative aims to teach incarcerated women how to start and operate a business. Through this project, women learn how to effectively manage their business and personal finances through organized, participatory, and educational workshops. The goal of the project is to reduce recidivism rates. This project helps ensure inmates leave prison with a life plan. “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.”

This initiative will take place at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women. Workshops will run for 12 weeks, meeting once per week for 1-2 hours. Cohorts will be limited to 10 students so that participants can receive individualized instruction and support. Participants will pull their credit reports and address negative items; establish a budget and find spending leaks; open a savings account and begin saving; create a written life and financial plan with goals and the steps necessary to meet them. They will also prepare a business plan with financials. A secondary goal for the initiative is to create a program that will result in a reduction of days sentenced for participants.