When an ex convict is released from a corrections facility, they may choose to seek formal employment or start their own business. But in order to do anything, usually you will need money and training. The government provides help to felons through education grants, re-entry programs, and reintegration grants.
When it comes to business grants for ex-convicts, there are no grants that will help convicts start their own business. Ex-convicts will have to look for other ways to fund their business ventures. For example, ex-cons can start by asking friends and families for donations or loans to help jump start their business. Other ways to fund their business would include getting a loan from the bank or approaching angel investors. Angel investors are individuals or small groups of people that invest in new ideas. If you have a profitable idea, you may be able to attract the help of these angel investors. In order to attract any type of business funding, you will need to have a good business plan and show that you are able to execute on the plan and manage your business. While in prison, ex-convicts should join entrepreneurship programs which teach you how to look for funding. The programs also connect ex-cons to executives and politicians who may be able to help.
The re-entry program in the USA was started in 2009 by the Justice Department. This program falls under the National Re-entry Resource center and has an annual budget of about $300 million. These funds are basically designed to provide individuals released from penal institutions with assistance integrating back into the community. This program is available across all states even though it is centrally managed by the justice department. There are programs that can benefit ex-convicts under these structures. The funds intended as grants for ex-convicts will be distributed to qualifying applicants via organizations such as correctional institutions, non-profit organizations such as community based organizations and religious non-profit organizations such as churches. These funds are then used to provide job placement services, vocational training programs, temporary housing and even mentoring. Grants are also used by non-profits to help ex-convicts with substance abuse problems. You may wish to contact local churches and other non profit organizations to see if there are programs that can help you with your specific needs.
For ex-felons that want to go back to school to get an education, they may be able to apply for the Pell grant. These are need based grants in which your income is used to determine the amount of money that you get. In order to apply for the Pell grant, you have to fill out the Free Application for Student Aid which can be done online. If you are approved for the grant, you can use the money for college tuition and to pay for school supplies.