Seventeen incarcerated women will graduate from Defy Ventures’ program Sept. 19 at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York.

Defy Ventures hosts entrepreneurship, employment and character development training programs for currently and formerly incarcerated men, women and youth.

The program is also known as “CEO of Your New Life.”

In addition to the correctional center in York, Defy Ventures is currently operating in the Omaha Correctional Center, Tecumseh State Correctional Institution and the Nebraska State Penitentiary, spokeswoman Cara Wilwerding said.

“I don’t know if there’s a better investment we can make in the state,” said Jeremy Bouman, Nebraska executive director of Defy Ventures.

Nationally, Defy graduates have a 95% employment rate and less than 5% recidivism rate. The organization has also financed and incubated more than 100 startup businesses founded by graduates.

More information about Defy Ventures can be found at