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Want to Start Your Own Business?

It’s not easy, but for the creative, courageous and tenacious, it’s often the right thing to do.  Here are a few documents to help you get started.

Fair Shake: Considering self-employment

From the Small Business Administration

Business Plan Template

Start A Business!

From the Consumer Information Center:

Planning and Goal Setting for A Small Business

Minding Your Own Business

How to Write a Business Plan

Prisoner Reentry Employment Program (PREP)  https://www.secondchanceprogram.org/

6145 Imperial Ave.
San Diego, CA 92114
Phone (619) 234-8888

The PREP program enrolls recently released ex-prisoners in job training and a “Financial Freedom” program that features several workshops on establishing a small business. PREP, which an initiative run by an organization called Second Chance San Diego, will also arrange for housing (in a drug- and alcohol-free setting) for those without shelter.


The Delancey Street Foundation    http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/
A unique program run by the Delancey Street Foundation provides a sentencing alternative for judges. Rather than sending a person to jail for a drug offense, or some similar non-violent offense, a judge can choose instead to assign them to work at a Delancy Street-run business. The organization runs restaurants, a furniture-making venture, a para-transit service, and a moving company. Everyone enrolled in the program learns useful trade skills and Delancy Street also has a history of grooming participants to set up their own businesses. With centers in California, New Mexico, New York and North Carolina, the program has grown over the past 35 years into one of the largest business-oriented rehabilitation programs in the country.

Delancey Street San Francisco
600 Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94107

Delancey Street Los Angeles
400 N. Vermont Street
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Delancey Street New Mexico
P.O. Box 1240
San Juan Pueblo, NM 87566

Delancey Street North Carolina
811 N. Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27401

Delancey Street New York
100 Turk Hill Road
Brewster, New York 10509

Delancey Street South Carolina
2510 N. Hobson Avenue
N. Charleston, SC 29405

Workshop in Business Opportunities  


105 West 125th St #1077
Harlem, NY 10027

This group runs a 16-week workshop called “How to Build a Growing Profitable Business,” which teaches entrepreneurial skills to the residents of seven underserved communities in New York City. Former inmates who have been released in the past year can redeem a coupon on the program’s website to get the admittance fee waived. The program offers personalized business mentoring and an alumni directory to connect program graduates and prospective entrepreneurs.


Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP)

Prisoners at more than 60 jails across Texas are invited to apply for PEP. Those chosen are transferred to the Cleveland Correctional Facility in Cleveland, Texas, where they take part in an intensive program that teaches them how to start a business upon their release. Topics covered include basic finance and marketing. The program culminates with a business-plan competition. PEP also offers inmates mentoring and other counseling related to re-entry and requires students, following their release, to participate in at least 20 classes taught by a group of volunteers that includes top-tier executives, MBA candidates and university professors.

PEP – Dallas
P.O. Box 836617
Richardson, TX 75083-6617

PEP – Houston
P.O. Box 2767
Houston, TX 77252-2767