Chad Dillon has enjoyed great commercial success since moving to Atlanta five years ago. He founded his seafood restaurant, The Boiler, in Buckhead after he studied marketing. His business acumen was such that in the company’s first year he made over $10 million in revenue and was extremely profitable.
His success and love of philanthropy recently provided an opportunity to impart wisdom to inmates at the DeKalb County Subway Reentry Facility.
During his first visit to the prison, Dillon was moved by the inmates’ stories and decided to do more than share advice.
Dillon decided to give these men a chance to become business owners by making a donation to cover the start-up costs. He created his 13-week intensive program, in which Dillon discussed basics and business principles with inmates. Training At the end of his program, the man presented a business argument to Dillon and a series of judges, following the tradition of the TV show “Shark Tank.” Winning locations will receive funding to cover the start-up costs of their business.
“I was literally talking business [with inmates]and they were very intrigued by how I started my business,” said Dillon. How can we help?”
“I said to them, ‘I think with the right resources and the right tools, you can create a business plan. I’ll give it to you.’ We will give you a reward for the initial capital. [the program]”
Originally, Dillon planned to award only winning pitches, using his own funds. However, he said all the pitches were so well thought out and executed that he decided to reward everyone on the show. All entrants were awarded a prize of $1,000.
Dillon took particular note of the level of dedication and skill exhibited by individuals throughout the program. Most of the contestants had the mindset and creativity to successfully present their ideas of impressive business to the show’s panels, although he served 10 to 15 years in prison.
Rewarding those funds is important to Dillon. He said that helping these men (avoiding negative terms such as prisoners and criminals, preferring to call them “returning citizens”) is not only good for them and their families, but also for their communities. I believe it is beneficial. Dillon understands that recidivism is high, especially in the African-American community. So he says he wants to do his part to change that narrative. I believe that when ‘is busy growing their business, they have no need or desire to commit crimes.
Dillon has since founded the Venturing Outside Foundation. He wants to take the concept of donating startup funds to ex-criminals and expand the program nationwide.
Dillon not only offers the ex-convict the opportunity to start his own business, but also the opportunity to work directly with him. In addition to The Boiler’s success, Dillon plans to create five new restaurants. This business serves as a means of employment for people who would normally face scrutiny as ex-convicts.
“I really enjoy helping these ‘returnees’ avoid imprisonment. is. they don’t stand a chance.
“When you apply for a job, they ask if you are a convicted felon. So what should these guys do? They can’t find work and probably have no family support. You gave them no choice but to go back to this criminal way of life. So I put them in my business just to help. They appreciate this opportunity. ”
Dillon funded the initiative solely with his own money. He’s open to the idea of state and federal support for his initiative, but in the meantime he’s using his time, effort, and money to continue to pave the way for these people. It says the work is meaningful and has a clear and much-needed positive impact on Black families and communities.
“It’s nice to know that I can make an impact in life like I did,” Dillon said. I don’t. It feels good to know that I made an impact on your life.”