At their Annual Awards Meeting on November 6, Impact 100 Garden State awarded UCEDC a $110,000 grant for its Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance (ESC) pilot program.
The Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance initiative will offer 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, UCEDC will provide participants with the necessary tools for success, including computers, business software, and credit builder loans. UCEDC’s Erich Peter says, “it is a pathway to self-sustainability through entrepreneurship for citizens returning from incarceration. The program enables ex-offenders to forge an alternate path toward employment free of the typical societal prejudices and obstacles faced by all trying to meaningfully re-enter society.” UCEDC will provide qualified participants with a UCEDC Business Builder Loan.
Impact 100 Garden State is an organization whose mission is: “To engage women in philanthropy by collectively providing high impact grants to nonprofits serving the counties of Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex or Union. (Their) goals are to provide transformational funds to organizations that reach under-served populations; to raise the profile of those that are deserving but lesser-known; and to highlight unmet needs in the areas of Arts and Culture; Children and Families; Education; Environment, Preservation and Recreation; and Health and Wellness.”