Ron Kinston


We met Ron Kinston through UCEDC's Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance (ESC) program, which offers formerly incarcerated individuals the opportunity to explore re-entry into society through business ownership. In addition to intensive entrepreneurial training, two years of one-on-one mentoring, and business plan development,

ESC provides participants with the necessary tools for success, including computers, business software, and credit builder loans.

The idea of starting Kinston Trucking came to Ron when he was in prison. A friend reached out to him and told him that he got his Commercial Drivers License (CDL). He said the pay was good and encouraged Ron to do the same.

So when Ron was released in 2013, he got his CDL, but as he explains it, he was still caught up in the street life and went back to prison. He took his time to get everything on paper and write his business plan. When he finished serving his sentence in 2016, Ron was able to bring Kinston Trucking to fruition.

Regarding his entrepreneurial ambitions, he says he had family members who had businesses. Ron remembers helping his Uncle Junior sell clothes on the weekends when he was young. Between watching his uncle and seeing two of his cousins who had also helped with Junior's small business go on to become successful entrepreneurs, Ron was inspired to do the same. In fact, his cousin
Chris Rufin is his mentor to this day.

When asked about the Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance initiative and what it meant to him, Mr. Kinston said, "the program is definitely beneficial because it covers every aspect of running a business. I don't care if you've been in business for ten years or you're just starting; there's something you can get out of the program."

Though initially hit hard by the pandemic, with the loss of several contracts due to the government shut down, he says business is back on track. Now his focus is helping others. He says part of why he participated in the ESC program was to get funding to be able to help other returning citizens get into entrepreneurship and stay out of prison. We look forward to witnessing Ron’s continued success and ongoing mentorship.

Watch the video below to hear Ron talk about his experience with UCEDC's Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance program.

To learn more about UCEDC's ESC program visit: