S2.E15. Moving From Incarceration to Entrepreneurship; Amerikan Therapy Sits Down With The Georgetown Pivot Program
The Georgetown Pivot Program is a new, non-credit-bearing certificate in business and entrepreneurship created specifically for formerly incarcerated individuals. Designed in partnership with the DC Department of Employment Services and delivered by Georgetown faculty, the Pivot Program is a one-year transition and re-entry program centered on a blend of academic work and supported employment.
Pivot Program fellowships are full-time commitments. Approximately half of their time is spent in class and training at Georgetown’s downtown campus and the Georgetown Venture Lab at WeWork White House, and half in internships. At the end of the academic year, fellows choose between one of two transition phase tracks: incubation or employment. Those opting to create their own business are provided with a workspace, business coaching, legal support, and access to resources; those seeking permanent employment are placed in off-campus internships with local employers. For the duration of the program, Pivot Program Fellows receive a weekly internship stipend from the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES), providing a strong incentive to complete the program.
The principal goal is employment readiness – and the program is designed to prepare participants for a range of post-program outcomes: sustainable employment, owning and operating their own businesses, and/or continuing their education. The curriculum provides both training in the fundamentals of business and entrepreneurship, as well as general knowledge and liberal arts courses (literature, economics, philosophy, and civic engagement). The program also includes modules on professional and life skills, such as personal finance, career planning, business communications and business etiquette, public speaking, self-advocacy, and conflict resolution.
The emphasis on entrepreneurship is intentional – while fellows are not required to start a business, they are taught how to adopt and apply an entrepreneurial mindset and to feel a greater sense of empowerment. We believe this increased confidence will result in a more positive career trajectory and an enhanced ability to respond to social and regulatory barriers.
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