Wellesley non-profit seeks funding boon to help ex-prisoners succeed in business

venturing out

Venturing Out, a Wellesley non-profit that helps prisoners prepare for life after incarceration by teaching them entrepreneurship skills, is hoping for a funding boon this week. Venturing Out will be featured this Thursday, Aug. 25 as the Daily Deal on a website called Philanthroper that encourages large groups of people to fund charities through small donations (think Groupon for charities).

Venturing Out Executive Director Laura Winig writes: “Our program’s instructors (three from Wellesley or with Wellesley ties) are practicing entrepreneurs who teach prisoners who are nearing their release dates how to become self-employed. Incredibly, we are having difficulty funding our program despite the fact that when (not if) most of those released from prison commit new crimes upon their release (most often because they cannot find work) the state of Massachusetts will pay $45,000 to keep each one incarcerated. For that amount, Venturing Out can teach 45 of them to fish—or tend lawns or paint houses, etc.–so they don’t end up back in prison.”