3550 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, Ca 90010
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Our missionTo cut recidivism in half by leveraging entrepreneurship to increase economic opportunities and transform lives.

Defy Ventures

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Ways to help

Attend a Prison Program Event

Defy Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) who enroll in Defy’s CEO of Your New Life (CEO YNL) program during their incarceration participate in a 6 - 9 month personal development, career readiness, and entrepreneurship training experience. Volunteers are integral to the success of the program and we have several volunteer events for every program cohort. Prison events are full-day experiences that are instrumental to EITs’ success in CEO YNL, and these days are equally transformative for volunteers. Prison events take place in person and will often include bus transportation to and from the facility. Volunteers must be 21+ years old and have at least 2 years of work experience in any field. All educational backgrounds and types of work experience are welcome.
  • Occasional, Monthly
  • 21+, 55+
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Business Coaching Days (BCDs)

BCDs are great ways to meet like-minded volunteers and many talented, ambitious Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs). In addition to one-on-one career coaching and business planning activities, these events also include icebreakers and powerful empathy-building activities. BCDs support employment readiness and entrepreneurship skills and, through conversations and connections with our volunteers, enhance EITs' self-esteem, ambition, and sense of hope that is critical to their transformational journey. This is an in-person event, and in order to keep everyone safe, all volunteers will need to show proof of Covid vaccination. Masks will be required of all participants during the event. Volunteers must be 21+ years old and have at least 2 years of work experience in any field. All educational backgrounds and types of work experience are welcome.
  • Occasional
  • 21+, 55+
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekends

Community-based Transitional Facility Program Events

In addition to our prison-based programs, Defy offers our CEO of Your New Life programs for individuals residing in community-based transitional facilities (also known as half-way houses or work-release facilities). Defy EITs who enroll in CEO YNL while residing at these homes participate in a 6 - 9 month personal development, career readiness, and entrepreneurship training experience. Volunteers are integral to the success of the program and we have several volunteer events for every program cohort. Volunteer events are 3 - 6 hour experiences (depending on the type of event) that are instrumental to EITs’ success in CEO YNL, and these days are equally transformative for volunteers. Transitional facility program events take place in person within metropolitan areas. Volunteers must be 21+ years old and have at least 2 years of work experience in any field. All educational backgrounds and types of work experience are welcome.
  • Occasional, Monthly
  • 21+, 55+
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Community-Based Entrepreneurship Programs

Defy offers community-based entrepreneurship programs, including a 14-week Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, a Pre-Accelerator, and Business Accelerator that are open to anyone formerly incarcerated in the states where we serve. Through these programs, EITs can develop a business from concept to launch. Volunteers are integral to the success of the EITs and there are many ways to be involved in the program. The easiest way to get involved in the entrepreneurship program is through one of our regular volunteer events. These events are typically two-hour, virtual experiences (although some may be organized as in-person events in certain locations). Volunteers must be 21+ years old and have at least 2 years of work experience in any field. All educational backgrounds and types of work experience are welcome.
  • Occasional, Monthly
  • 21+, 55+
  • Individuals
  • Virtual, Indoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekdays, Evenings, Weekends
How you helpVolunteers are an integral part of our program. As a volunteer, you are a part of our model to create systemic change and shift mindsets!
About usEven though someone has served their time, a second sentence begins as soon as they’re released. It creates a revolving door to prison and a legacy of poverty, dependency, violence, and incarceration that is passed down through generations. Defy’s entrepreneurial programs enable one of America’s largest forgotten communities to defy the odds. We equip them with new skills, new connections, and a new belief to match their new purpose, and succeed in their new life of economic independence.
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