Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is announcing the grant recipients chosen to support the business aspirations of formerly incarcerated individuals.
“It is important that all citizens have the skills they need to be job-ready and contribute to the global economy. MBDA is committed to helping all Americans acquire the education, training, and life skills they need to achieve economic independence,” said MBDA National Director Henry Childs, II. “These grants help formerly incarcerated people become productive members of their community and gives them another chance to pursue the American Dream.”
When it comes to finding employment of any kind, just 12.5 percent of employers are willing to consider job applications from people who have been convicted of a crime. Due to the increased challenges formerly incarcerated persons face in trying to re-enter the workforce, there is a need to equip them with skills and a network to start their own businesses.
Grant recipients include:
- DESA, Inc. ($400,000) to develop a new program called REEMERGE to assist with obtaining gainful employment and experience that can be carried into self-employment.
- Georgetown University ($399,865) to establish the “Georgetown Pivot Program” that combines business and entrepreneurship education with work experience, executive mentorship, as well as personal and professional development.
- J&J Monitoring ($199,990) to provide life coaching, mentorship, and small business development.
These programs are part of the 2018 MBDA Broad Agency Announcement, a new initiative this year. More than $13 million was awarded for 35 projects focused on Department of Commerce and MBDA priorities from resources that increase disaster preparedness and relief to programs that increase access to capital. For a full listing of MBDA’s 2018 grant awards, visit www.mbda.gov/news.
About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
MBDA, www.mbda.gov, is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research. Our services provide greater access to capital, contracts, and markets and better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally.