Person of the Week: Brian Hamilton

September 25, 2009 3:19:14 PM PDT
Class is in session at the Durham Correctional Center. It's entrepreneurship 101 and Brian Hamilton is the professor."Anyone starting a business has very basic questions [like] how do I go from where I am now to where I want to be," Hamilton explained.

Hamilton is the CEO of a computer software company in Raleigh called Sageworks. He created a program called Inmates to Entrepreneurs.

He volunteers his time helping convicts create a small business after they're released.

"50 percent of the people who are in a facility right now will end back after they're released. They're in your community. We want them to be educated, we want them to be productive, we want them starting businesses and creating jobs. It's good for everyone," said Hamilton.

Morris Freeman is locked-up for armed robbery. He wants to start an internet advertising business, and he's grateful Hamilton is helping him get started.

"I think it gives us a lot of hope," he said. This is what we need to give us that extra energy and motivation to do the right thing, instead of looking for other ways to make money, illegal ways, to put us back in this predicament, I think it's an excellent thing that we need to give us that motivation."

Hamilton says it feels good to give back.

"Every time I'm here, they're looking at a different angle, very innovative, that's what's beautiful about this. When you're starting a business, you don't need a great education, you need to be focused on customer value and providing great products and services, and these guys are doing it. They come up with great ideas all the time, even for new businesses," he said.

Hamilton would like to find other people to volunteer with his program. You can find him at www.inmatestoentrepreneurs.org

Click here to nominate your own Person of the Week.

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