Showing posts from July, 2011

A Competitive Advantage to Hiring Ex-Offenders

Over the last 13 years, I've seen how ex-offenders provide a unique and untapped talent base for business. This short segment on PBS's News Hour shows how WeRecycle in Westchester County has been able to partner with the Bard Prison Initiative to identify and hire excellent ex-offender employees. And when businesses hire ex-offenders, not only do they get a high-quality employee but they also help to save society money by reducing recidivism. Watch the full episode . See more PBS NewsHour.

Purple Door Coffee: A New Belay Enterprises Faith Venture to Employ Homeless Youth

I am excited to announce that the Belay Enterprises Board of Directors approved the addition of Purple Door Coffee to our portfolio of incubating faith venture businesses . Spearheaded by Madison Chandler in partnership with local homeless ministry Dry Bones, this new venture will raise start-up funding to create a local coffee shop to employ homeless young adults leaving the street life. I've written before about Seattle's Street Beans Espresso . It's our hope that Purple Door will mirror that organization's successful approach working with homeless youth in the Northwest. And continuing the coffee theme, the Belay Board also approved continuing exploring a partnership with Chicago areas faith venture I Have A Bean Coffee to open a Denver area micro-roastery to employ ex-offenders. If you're interested in helping us develop these two entities or just want to learn more, please feel free to contact us at 303-296-3990.

Belay Enterprises Update: A Summer of Exploring New Opportunities for Employing Individuals Rebuilding Lives

There has been a lot going on around Belay Enterprises this summer. The most exciting happening is the successful launch of New Beginnings Custom Woodworks , our custom cabinet employment and job training program for ex-offenders. I'm pleased to report that everything is up and running with sales far beyond our initial projections. Our director Dave Schuett is doing an awesome job. We're hoping to expand training opportunities for ex-offenders very soon as we secure additional warehouse space for the project. Indeed, our biggest challenge around Belay right now revolves around limited warehouse square footage. Besides the cabinet project, we are continuing to develop some interesting Ascent Faith Venture Fund projects which could really help us towards our 5 year goal of 750 jobs a year as they are implemented: We plan to present an initial culinary program business plan to the Denver Jail in August. The Sheriff's Department is super enthusiastic about the potential of

Belay Enterprises in Urban Faith

Rodolpho Carrasco has written an article Ministries of Social Entrepreneurship on urban faith ventures that highlights Belay Enterprises , Homeboy Industries and Central Detroit Christian at Urban Faith : America’s economic woes have made grassroots urban ministers open to new ways of doing things. Fundraising has always been a challenge, and now more so. Common conversation topics in urban ministry circles include cutting positions, scaling back programs, and working more efficiently. One topic stands out. The idea of starting a business to fund an urban ministry is not just hallway conversation or Facebook chat fodder. People really want to know. Even people who are critics of Big Business or Capitalism are hungry to make private enterprise work for their cause. If you are thinking about launching a business to supplement your ministry’s bottom line, it’s important to understand both the concept of social entrepreneurship and the management capacity of the typical