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avatar for Bert Smith

Bert Smith

Prison Entrepreneurship Program
CEO
Since 2010, Bert Smith has served as the CEO of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, an innovative non-profit the mission of which is to stimulate positive transformation in the lives of convicted felons and volunteer executives.  PEP works intensively with convicted felons prior to and following their release, helping them to learn how to start and successfully run honest businesses.  At least 185 businesses have been started by graduates of PEP, and every PEP graduate either starts his own business or gets his first job within 90 days of his release.  The recidivism rate of PEP graduates is less than 7%.  PEP receives no State of Federal funding, its operations being entirely funded by private philanthropy and earned income ventures.