WHO WE ARE
ABOUT USThe PEP Story
PEP’s team knows from experience that prison is a storehouse of untapped potential. Many inmates come to prison as seasoned entrepreneurs who happened to run illegitimate businesses. Once equipped with education and life skills training, the ROI potential for the truly reformed prisoner, his family and his community is limitless.
Former Wall Street professional Catherine Rohr founded PEP in May of 2004 after she toured a prison and noticed that executives and inmates had more in common than most would think. They know how to manage others to get things done. Even the most unsophisticated drug dealers inherently understand business concepts such as competition, profitability, risk management and proprietary sales channels. For both executives and inmates, passion is instinctive.
Catherine wondered what would happen if inmates who were committed to their own transformation were equipped to start and run legitimate companies. Following an unusual calling, Catherine left behind her New York career and financial stability, moved to Texas started a one-of-a-kind “behind bars” business plan competition. Her efforts were geared toward channeling the entrepreneurial passions and influential personalities of the inmates—intentionally recruiting former gang leaders, drug dealers and hustlers.
The overwhelming response of 55 inmates and 15 world-class executives to judge the business plans and presentations was the catalyst to launch the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.
While Catherine resigned in 2009, the organization has continued to grow and prosper. PEP now graduates more men than ever before, and the results are BETTER THAN EVER and remain the best in the prison rehabilitation field. Click here to view our paradigm-changing statistics.