The Small Business Administration will launch a new $1.2 million competition that aims to expand access to entrepreneurial education and microloans to formerly incarcerated individuals.
SBA said Thursday the Aspire Challenge will award as much as $75,000 to organizations across the nation that can assist the delivery of training and microloan assistance to such individuals.
The Aspire Challenge will support efforts of the Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative established by SBA, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and microlender Justine Petersen which was developed to connect formerly incarcerated individuals to mentors for entrepreneurial education, microloans and training.
“Entrepreneurship and small business ownership are proven paths toward wealth creation and financial independence, especially for people who might otherwise feel trapped by their circumstances,” said Tameka Montgomery, associate administrator for SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development.
“Entrepreneurship can even be a ladder of opportunity for citizens who have served their debt to society but are struggling to find employment after incarceration.”