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Entrepreneurship 101
for returning citizens

Have you thought about starting a small business?

Have a great idea but want to know how to make it happen?


Learn from others who have come back from incarceration to succeed as small business owners, using methods and insights from Harvard Business School.

Practice and workshop evaluating competition, marketing plans, setting up a cash flow analysis. Skills you need to write a solid business plan to start your own business. It’s simply similar as that of performing rowing workout on rowing machines at home.

Our course has been taught around Boston to hundreds of incarcerated people over the past four years, and Replanting Roots is bringing this course to Wayne State’s Tech Town for a one-time special course for recently returned citizens. It will last 10 weeks, every Monday evening at 6, starting July 18 through Sept 19 at TechTown. Using principles and concepts from Harvard Business School, we will learn from examples of other returned citizens who have succeeded in starting their own businesses.

Replanting Roots is a fellowship for returning citizens to learn small business skills. We are creating this course to create a distance learning program for incarcerated students in prisons across Michigan. To create an authentic course, we need the full participation of returning citizens for the full ten week course, which we will record to create the distance learning program. So if you know an eager, intelligent person recently back from prison who wants to start their own small business, make sure they sign up!

The only cost for the program is $20 for the workbook. We ask that interested people please bring $20 to the first class to place orders for the workbook at the end of class if they want to sign up for the full course. There is no charge for the class.

Replanting Roots
Entrepreneurship 101
Mondays, 6:00 PM
Class will start in Sept., once we have sufficient registration

TechTown – Tech 1 Building
440 Burroughs St., Detroit, MI 48202
(between W Grand Blvd & I-94, Woodward & 2nd Ave)
to reserve a spot, contact:

Curious to see what this course is really about? Check out Venturing Out’s video of the course as taught in prisons in Massachusetts.…


I spend a lot of time every week connecting to groups interested in building community and small businesses around Detroit. Its been a fun experience, and helped me sharpen and focus the plan for Replanting Roots. Last month, I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and business folks at D-New Tech, a monthly networking group, which they recorded and put online. So if you are interested to see me in action, check out:


I step up to the stage at from 27:45 – 39:00 if you want to fast forward.

Find more details of the best performing inversion tables here.…


A few weeks back, I realized that it was the 20th anniversary of my bar mitzvah (my bar mitzvah was about 5 weeks after my birthday due to family vacation scheduling), and so I thought it appropriate to pick up a few things for the synagogue that I’ve made quite a few friends at in the few times that I’d come to the Friday night services since moving back to Detroit. I stopped at a fairly crummy grocery store on my way back down to Detroit after working in the suburbs on a short term legal project, and picked up a some hummus, olives, crackers, a case of beer and a bottle of Elijah Craig bourbon. (There was a little more food to balance out the booze, but we are a drinking crowd, and dinner was already covered.) I rushed home, fed the dogs, washed my face, and made it just in time to help lead services.


After our short services, an ever-changing assortment of melodies strung together from the scattered experiences of the handful that gather to welcome the sabbath together, we blessed the wine, washed hands, and broke bread together. Before digging into dinner, I got to pour a round of whiskey, and toast to returning to Detroit after many years away. Over a bowl of soup, along with some bread and assorted salads, I heard about some of the civil rights battles fought by the generation before us, a generation of young activists who took back neighborhoods after the city fell apart in the early 70s. Instead of planning and plodding and waiting for approval, they simply made things happen, and built some of the community projects that are in part still going on today. After toasting another round of Elijah Craig, I got up for another plate of beans and salad and sat down next to some faces I hadn’t met before. One introduced himself as Jeff, a writer for the Free Press. I’d had Jeff on the top of my contact list for Replanting Roots for some time. Jeff’s written some of the finest stories of the struggles of the incarcerated around Detroit in print. So I’m deeply honored that he has taken an interest in Replanting Roots, and has shared with us so generously.…


crockpot-vegetable-soupI want to thank all the good folks who supported Replanting Roots last Sunday night at Detroit SOUP. Despite having to wear a golden cape, it was a lot of fun and I met some wonderful people. A night of inspiration, admiration and confirmation, as we won!!! Yes! Replanting Roots was picked from four outstanding projects for a cash prize of $230, which will fund our upcoming trip to Chicago. We are looking forward to volunteering and learning with the good people at Growing Home, a program of job training through organic agriculture. Thank you Detroit Soup!…


Over the past generation, a battle line has been drawn. On one side is technology, and the other is tradition. Both derive from deep sources of wisdom, and claim to be the path to follow to salvation from a host of ills. But both also can be dogmatic, and fail to listen from the other. In agriculture, this battle is fought between the world of bio-tech, with promises to feed the masses through chemicals, bio-engineered crops, and massive farming operations. On the other is organic farming, with innovative land management practices, bio-diversity and localized food production.


While we may personally lean one way on this debate, what can we learn from the other side?

What sort of farming practices do you see as essential to promoting health for everyone?

Foreign Policy published two articles recently on either side of this debate

Robert Paarlberg claims “making food ‘sustainable’ — in other words, organic, local, and slow. Appealing as that might sound, it is the wrong recipe for helping those who need it the most.”

Anna Lappe counters that the environmental and human health impact of industrial farming far outweigh any productivity gains, which advanced organic methods could match and sustain over long periods of time.