Recently, Peter Marcum visited the women’s prison to speak to members of the BEST program. Building Entrepreneurs For Success in Tennessee (BEST) is designed to provide opportunities for personal development and transformation, then teach business and entrepreneurial skills to better equip individuals for successful reentry into the community after incarceration and reduce recidivism. Marcum met with and spoke to the women’s cohort about entrepreneurship, business principles, and determination. He also listened to the participants share each of their unique business ideas—all of which he deemed to be full of potential.
The BEST program is comprised of four phases:
Phase One - BEST seeks to empower individuals with self-knowledge, presentation, conflict management, negotiation, cooperation, planning, technology, goal-setting and decision-making skills. Participating in the Toastmasters International Gavel Club equips everyone with speaking, listening and critical evaluation skills.
Phase Two – Business, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial skills are taught. The EC PreFlight curriculum forms the basis for this phase. Mentors from the EC and Belmont University students of entrepreneurship assist the participants as they each develop their own business plan.
Phase Three – During post-graduation and pre-release, BEST works to remain engaged through book studies and newsletters to members of the BEST community and meetings when possible.
Phase Four – Upon release, each returning citizen can tap into the network of BEST partners as they return to the community, ready to be a contributing member of society as an employee or business owner.
Participants in the BEST program use electronic tablets provided by partner Innertainment Delivery Systems to deliver curriculum, including the Nashville Entrepreneur Center PreFlight materials.
Peter Marcum and DevDigital are proud to be supporters of such an important and groundbreaking program. For more information on the BEST program, visit their website.