#54 – Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance: The Secret to Cutting Recidivism in Half

with Andrew Glazier, CEO & President of Defy Ventures

54 - Andrew Glazier

Andrew Glazier is the CEO and president of Defy Ventures, a national nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship employment and personal development for formerly and currently incarcerated men, women, and young adults. Founded in 2010, Defy has made significant process in this arena. They are now operating programs in seven states. They have enrolled over 5,000 entrepreneurs in training in prison and in their post-release program. They have engaged thousands of volunteers. As a result of this work, their one-year recidivism rate is 7.2% as compared to the national average of 30%, and they are proud to say that their employment rate for program graduates is at 82%.

This movement is all about mindset shift. Engaging the business community is key, as successful reentry into the workforce requires open-minded employers, who are willing to see a person’s value before dismissing them as a candidate because they have been in the system. Potential employers need to be willing to open their minds to this idea. However, it also requires a mindset shift on the formerly incarcerated person, as they need to recognize their own value and their own worth as a potential employee in order to communicate their value to others. That is the primary topic of this episode.

In addition, we chat about the issues of recidivism and mass incarceration, entrepreneurship as a rehabilitative tool, and the role the business community has in addressing these issues for this significantly sized and overlooked population.

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It’s one thing to have a big vision out there; it’s another to start to take that and operationalize it, and then grow within that vision.-Andrew Glazier

A Few Graduates at the Graduation Ceremony for the Defy Ventures Program

Topics Discussed: 

  • The total scope of mass incarceration and recidivism
  • Entrepreneurship as a rehabilitative tool 
  • The role the business community has in addressing this population
  • What it is currently inhibiting organizations like Defy from growth

Links from the Episode:

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