Even after the completion of incarceration, felons do not get a complete pardon. They cannot procure a steady income because most employers do not consider job applications from convicted criminals.
Also, the felony charge can restrict the person’s potential by limiting the number of organizations where he/she can work. For instance, the nature of the felony can disqualify them from money handling positions or work with children.
Hence, several felons opt to create a venture to start over. It saves them from the rejection of corporate hiring managers and gives them control over their life.
Generally, felons do not have an abundance of money. But, there are several resources and grants to help offenders get back on their feet.
The resources are relatively limited, but they can help.
7 Business Grants and Resources for Felons to become Their Own BOSS
There are some grants specifically for felons. But, you will have to check eligibility and get through hoops to avail them. So, keep your options open and persist. That is the only way forward.
1. The Community
There are only a few national grants to help felons start a business. Programs to help prisoners are generally local and small. You can check the following websites and offices for help.
- State Government
- County Government
- City Government
- Religious organizations
- Economic Development Agencies
Where you live will impact the number of options you have for the restart. Some places have better provisions than others.
But it is an excellent place to start looking for the right help.
Grants.gov is not a website dedicated to felons. But, it is an organization that gives grants for starting a venture.
So, look for grants that match your idea of business. They also have grants for people of a specific nationality, heritage, and other characteristics. Use it to your advantage.
Also, check the eligibility for the grants.
Lastly, consider opening a non-profit as there are more grants available for such business.
Explore the website for more https://www.grants.gov/
3. Go Fund Me
Go Fund Me relies on people to help individuals raise money for a cause. The reasons to start a Go Fund Me include medical expenses, education, and other charitable donations.
If you have a business idea that people can relate it, the website can offer a reliable funding option that people trust.
Felons can use social media to share the campaign and raise money for starting the business.
Check the link here https://www.gofundme.com/
4. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
SBDC is a nationwide non-profit network that offers assistance to aspiring and current business owners. The non-profit offers free counseling and advice from business experts, including accountants, marketing professionals, and lawyers.
They also host several seminars, webinars, and networking events to assist the development or start a small business.
Explore the website for more info here https://americassbdc.org/
The organization is less about starting a business and more about re-entry into society. Hence, they offer legal information and help felons get education loans.
They also offer appropriate tips to help felons lead a life of dignity once they re-enter society.
Click the link to know more https://helpforfelons.org
6. Inmates to Entrepreneurs
Inmate to Entrepreneurs is another group that helps former inmates with relevant information to start over. It includes help to start a business with appropriate resources, including online videos and information.
If you live close to a local chapter, you can attend the educational seminar in person.
Check the link for more info https://inmatestoentrepreneurs.org/
Working from home is a low-investment business if you have the appropriate skills. Graphic designing, website development, marketing, writing are some skills that can earn you money remotely.
You can create an ID on Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru to connect with contractors and work from home.
These websites also work as intermediaries for payment. Hence, you will not have to worry about the payment for the work you do.
While searching for relevant resources online, please take the time to do your research. There are several fraudulent websites. They offer opportunities to work from home and being your own boss and end up in financial loss.
So, do not sign any contract before appropriate research. Also, remember the basic rule of looking for resources or help online. If it sounds like a deal that you will get nowhere else, it is probably a fraud.