The United States accounts for less than five percent of the global population but nearly 25% of the global prison population. To make matters worse, more than 4 in 10 prisoners are re-arrested upon release. For those who stay on the outside, barriers to jobs and housing lead too many to homelessness.
Commonwealth formed an operating partnership with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) to create a venture fund for Second Chance businesses. Since 2004, PEP has produced the nation’s leading results in the prison rehabilitation industry by dramatically reducing return-to-prison rates while considerably increasing employment rates and business ownership. Now Commonwealth will help accelerate that success via impact investing.
PITCH COMPETITION 2020
PITCH COMPETITION 2019
RPM Diesel Repair
FSO Construction & Management
Cherokee Acres Homes
On November 20th, 2019, PEP hosted the “Barbed Wire to Business Accelerator—Fueling Growth through Impact Investing” at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The event showcased three Prison Entrepreneurship Program graduate-owned companies. Sharks included Mark Holden (Koch Industries), Biggs Burke (record executive and film producer), Doug Deason (Dallas investor), and Joe Horford (PEP Pennsylvania founder).