Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub helped Honest Jobs become the largest fair-chance employment hub
Harley Blakeman’s entrepreneurial journey was strongly affected by his past experiences. He had a difficult upbringing, which led him to use and sell drugs at a very early age. As a teenager, he was incarcerated for 14 months as the youngest in the adult prison.
After being released, he earned his GED and got a business degree from a university, yet he kept being turned down by employers solely based on his criminal record. He finally found employment after almost a hundred attempts, but he could not stop thinking about how hard it is for ex-convicts to survive once they are released. The struggle could easily lead back to incarceration. His passion to help others achieve better outcomes led him to found Honest Jobs, which is now the nation’s largest fair-chance employment network.
“We want to normalize hiring people with criminal records, chipping away at the stigma to where we’re a country of rehabilitation,” Blakeman says. “After you’ve been punished, you shouldn’t be punished for the rest of your life”
Now the company has nearly 20 employees and it's tech-enabled platform shortened the job search from an average of 200 days to less than 30 days.
Read more about Harley’s story, and how Honest Jobs is leveraging Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub to accelerate the company’s growth: