Defy Ventures

Defy’s mission is to shift mindsets to give people with criminal histories their best shot at a second chance. Our vision is to cut the recidivism rate in half by leveraging entrepreneurship to increase economic opportunity and transform lives.

About

Defy Ventures is a national nonprofit whose mission is to shift mindsets to give people with criminal histories their best shot at a second chance through entrepreneurship, career readiness, and personal development training programs delivered both in prison and in the community. Defy’s vision is to cut recidivism (return-to-prison) rates in half by leveraging entrepreneurship to increase economic opportunity and transform lives.

In 2022, Defy is helping currently and formerly incarcerated people defy the odds in eight states and 16 prisons across the country. Together with the thousands of business executives and leaders in our network, we are helping to shift the conversation and landscape of opportunity for people with criminal histories.

Services Provided

Capture wealth

  • Meet investors
  • Sell your business
  • Plan for succession
  • Seek legal counsel
  • Update pitch deck

Develop ideas

  • Price products
  • Establish goals
  • Create forecast
  • Define products
  • Create business plan

Find financing

  • Apply for a loan
  • Apply for a grant
  • Evaluate equity
  • Analyze needs
  • Establish accounts
  • Manage books

Formalize structures

  • Register legally
  • Secure licenses
  • Buy insurance

Hire / retain staff

  • Implement payroll
  • Draft staff manual
  • Write job specs

Increase sales

  • Develop partners
  • Establish online
  • Improve marketing
  • Update business plan
  • Update forecast
  • Join accelerator

Optimize operations

  • Prep for wholesale
  • Write handbook
  • Measure operations
Primary Contact
Melissa ODell
Address
111 W Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604