Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, yesterday reintroduced the Necessary Entrepreneurship Workshops via the SBA to Transform and Assist Re-entry Training Act (NEW START) Act—legislation to create a reentry program within the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to award grants for business counseling and entrepreneurial development training to justice-impacted individuals.
President and CEO of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) DeAnna Hoskins issued the following statement: “JustLeadershipUSA is honored to reassert its strong support for the NEW START Act. As the only national criminal justice reform nonprofit that is both founded by and led by formerly incarcerated people, we know firsthand the many challenges that directly impacted people face upon reentry from prison. This would provide business counseling and entrepreneurial development training and resources that are both life-giving and humanity-affirming for those returning home after incarceration. It would also create opportunities for their families and their communities. As we continue to work to dismantle racist and oppressive systems that block people from the most basic of human needs such as housing, employment, and education, we know that small-business ownership is a critical pathway for thousands of people with criminal records, who have the brilliance and boldness to start new businesses. The NEW START Act would increase the overall number of people who are able to access these entrepreneurial opportunities.”
Leading with Conviction 2019 graduate and Executive Director of Baltimore-based Mission: Launch Laurin Leonard also released this statement: “Entrepreneurship—from micro-enterprises to high-growth businesses—supports financial well-being and economic mobility, which are fundamental to reducing the lasting harm caused by incarceration. The NEW START Act is an exciting opportunity to continue to invest in entrepreneurs who have demonstrated their commitment to positively contributing to their families and communities as well as their local economies.”