Instead of giving in to a prison system that perpetuates oppression, hopelessness, and isolation, Marcus Bullock served his time and got out, determined to make a difference. While in jail, his mother had sent him a letter every day, a simple connection to the outside world that really was his lifeline—and with his creation of Flikshop, Inc., Bullock has given that lifeline to hundreds of thousands of others. A charismatic and compelling speaker with an incredible story and infectious optimism, Bullock is a beacon of resilience, and a bastion of effectively using entrepreneurship for social change.
Now, more than 140,000 prisoners use Flikshop to stay in touch with loved ones—and get assistance from nonprofits. People on the outside snap a photo, include a note, and Flikshop sends a physical copy to the inmate for roughly the cost of a stamp. (Prisoners can only receive physical mail.) Flikshop is more than a vessel for one-on-one connection, though that part is vital. It’s also used more broadly for education, for helping prisoners get ahead of the barriers they often face once released. With Bullock’s company, prisoners get assistance with housing applications, learn financial literacy, and develop important job interview skills. Going hand-in-hand with the app is the Flikshop School of Business, a program Bullock founded that teaches returning citizens entrepreneurship through coding and software development.
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