It takes money, to save money
A young entrepreneur walks in the door and hears his name reverberate through the loudspeaker as he approaches some of the more successful entrepreneurs in the country. He has entered the “Shark Tank.” In the next 3 minutes, he will present an idea that has been brewing in his mind for years. Will the business leaders (the “sharks”) invest? The sharks are all very different from another. Yet behind their differences, they share a clear and unspoken maxim – it takes money, to make money.
Everyone who buys a home understands you have to invest to yield the benefits of growing equity. Students in every business school in the nation never question this foundational truth.
This unspoken truth has found its way into the social realm, investing in people and seeing a return on investment. A prime example of investing in people is found in the work of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. Thirty years ago, Father Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, began investing in gang involved individuals by creating jobs that reduced violence, imprisonment and, most importantly, changed lives. Investing in people yields results in the now and eternally.
The numbers give us a clear picture of the cost of changing lives. The cost of incarceration in California is $81,000 per person per year. With an average sentence length of 3.2 years, that is total average cost of $259,200 per person incarcerated. Rise Up Industries has been investing in formerly incarcerated, previously gang involved individuals for years, preparing them for high paying jobs as machinists. The investment has returned a profit in changed lives with 100% of graduates finding jobs, and zero returning to prison or gang life. In the last few years Rise Up Industries has graduated 8 members into high paying jobs. Statistically, 5 out of 8 (assuming a 68% recidivism rate) would have returned to incarceration without a successful reentry program. The cost to taxpayers would have been $259,200 x 5 people = $1,296,000. Rise Up Industries is a great investment, but it takes money to save money.
We are looking for investors.
– John Hughes, MSW. Development Director at Rise Up Industries.