Determination, incorporated

Determination, Incorporated is a Kansas City-based 501C3 nonprofit that hosts business basics workshops and entrepreneurship competitions for currently and formerly incarcerated people.

Mission: Increase the positive social and economic impact of formerly incarcerated people through entrepreneurship.

See our mission in action in this video from our Rise Up, Get Started event: Kansas City's FIRST entrepreneurship competition for formerly incarcerated people

Vision: Prisons and jails will become 'grad schools' for the world's most impactful leaders. And formerly incarcerated people, by starting viable, hiring businesses, will help to solve the problem of recidivism and ultimately end mass incarceration.

Be the Boss is a business support group for formerly incarcerated people. At each session, experts from the entrepreneurial community present followed by group discussion.

Click here to see the detailed summer/fall 2019 schedule and to learn how to compete in our Rise Up, Get Started Entrepreneurship Competition.

The group is always free & walk-ins are welcome:

  • 2nd and 4th Thursdays at UMKC Innovation Center, 6:30 PM: 4747 Troost, KCMO 64110
  • 3rd Mondays at Bluford Library, 5 PM: 3050 Prospect Ave, KCMO 64128

Check out the Be the Boss workbook (link) for resources to start and grow your business.

Note: Group does not meet if there is a winter weather or ice storm WARNING.

Johnny Waller, Jr.

Co-Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer

Johnny is a successful second chance entrepreneur and has his Masters in Management from Rockhurst University.


Kyle J Smith

Co-Founder & Chief Storytelling Officer

Kyle is an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder in KCMO and is passionate about helping others live and love to their fullest.


Cell phone: 816-607-1873

Leslie Walton, MBA

Entrepreneur Success Manager

Leslie is an expert in guiding people through their entrepreneurial journey and is the founder & CEO of A Cents of Change.


Cell phone: 816-281-7898

Our nonprofit board members:

  • Brittany Peterson: Second Chance
  • Curtisi Cross: Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Bek Abdullayev: Super Dispatch
  • Jordan Bergsten: Shook, Hardy & Bacon
  • Mark Logan: idealect

PODCAST: Own it: Starting a Business After Prison

Can entrepreneurship help to reduce recidivism? AKA, can starting a business stop someone from going back to prison? Let's find out.

Keep up with Determination, Incorporated, sign up for our High Five Thursdays newsletter: a weekly email with a shout out of encouragement to a member of our Kansas City community for living out our core values: transparency, community, hope, hard work, love, and the healing power of grace.