/// Economic Empowerment
Rising Foundations Small Business
Because discrimination against people with felony convictions by employers is largely legal, in this unique workforce development program we foster self-sufficiency through self-employment and small business creation enabling our clients to bypass discrimination by employers. The small business incubator empowers formerly incarcerated people to develop small businesses to (at first) supplement their income while they continue working low-wage jobs, with an overall goal for these businesses to grow to provide full time employment for themselves, and eventually other formerly incarcerated people. This small business incubator looks very different from the traditional incubator. Most of the folks who participate in our incubator have a long history of making money, except through illicit means. Nevertheless, we lean heavily on this prior experience and entrepreneurial spirit to help guide them in developing their new, legal, hustle.
The Pay it Forward Communal Loan Fund
In 2016 we launched a zero interest loan fund to help our clients access funds needed to rejoin the workforce, continue their education, get a drivers license, and start small businesses. We are a member of the Credit Builders Alliance so that during the repayment process our clients are able to build credit history. All loan recipients are also required to complete a 7 part financial life skills course coordinated by our friends at Gulf Coast Bank and Trust and Capital One.