While some ex-convicts may choose to seek traditional jobs, others are inclined to start their own businesses as a faster route to financial freedom. There are a number of government business grants specifically designed to empower felons to start a new life.

How Ex-Felon Business Owners Can Get Financial Assistance

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Aside from this, there are other sources of capital that a felon may access to start his or her own business. Below is a list of the ways an ex-convict can obtain financing in order to fund self-employed business initiatives:

1. Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration offers assistance to people, including ex-felons, who are interested in starting a business. This assistance includes business plan templates, training, and links to federal grant listings.

Several ex-felons can qualify for many of the funding sources that are available to people without previous criminal records.

2. Cultural and Affiliation Grants

Ex-felons can also access business grants offered specifically for people from certain cultural groups, or members of certain organizations. If an ex-felon belongs to a certain group, he or she would sometimes be able to access these grants irrespective of criminal history.

3. Government Grants Specifically for Ex-Convicts

There are certain specific government grants for convicts. One of these grants is the Houston-based Prison Entrepreneurship Program, which connects ex-prison inmates with sources of funding to start and develop their own businesses.

This program also provides training opportunities for ex-convicts. In order for an ex-convict to qualify for this grant, it would be better to involve a criminal attorney. An ex-convict in Charlotte should involve a Charlotte criminal attorney.

4. Private Grant Funding

Private companies and corporations regularly offer funding and grant opportunities for new small businesses to people who fall within a certain class of income as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Ex-felons who usually have a low source of income immediately after serving time can easily benefit from such private grant funding just like other people who have no previous criminal records.

5. Educational and Skill Acquisition Grants

Ex-felons can easily obtain educational grants aimed at helping them advance their studies or skill acquisition grants that are aimed at helping them get training in certain fields in order to help them start their own business. One such example is the Federal Pell Grant.

6. Women’s Financial Fund

The Women’s Financial Fund offers grants of up to $5000 for women who are inclined to start their own businesses as entrepreneurs. An ex-felon can easily qualify for this grant like other women without criminal records.


Being an ex-felon does not prevent an individual from succeeding in business. There are several business funding opportunities that are open and targeted at ex-felons. But it is, however, essential for an ex-felon to be prepared with detailed business plans and proposals in order to qualify for business funding.

An ex-felon can take advantage of practically all the business funding opportunities that are available to a person without a previous criminal record, however, due diligence is the most important requirement for a successful application for business funding.