Award Presented At Seventh Annual WIRED Business Conference to Recognize Defy Ventures for Work to Transform the Lives of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
New York, New York, May 12, 2015 – MDC Partners announced today that it has presented Defy Ventures (www.defyventures.org) with the 2015 MDC Partners Humanitarian Award. The $20,000 award, now in its fifth year, celebrates humanitarian efforts fueled by groundbreaking, entrepreneurial innovation that result in meaningful social impact in the United States and around the world. The award was presented today during the seventh annual WIRED Business Conference, which in partnership with MDC brings together today’s most dynamic thought leaders to discuss the ideas and innovations that are shaping the world and fueling the next evolution of business. Defy Ventures Founder and CEO Catherine Hoke accepted the award.
“The work Defy Ventures is doing to cultivate grass-roots entrepreneurialism is truly worthy of our support and celebration,” said Miles Nadal, Chairman and CEO of MDC Partners. “Defy is not only empowering formerly incarcerated Entrepreneurs-In-Training with the skills and experience to support themselves and their families, but it is developing the next generation of innovative business leaders who will change the face of their communities. Entrepreneurship lives everywhere, and Defy’s mission to identify and empower great talent, no matter where it is found, is at the core of what we do at MDC Partners. We are proud to support Defy’s investment in the next generation of entrepreneurs, and by extension, their families, friends and communities.”
For the 92 million Americans with criminal records, even minimum wage jobs are out of reach due to criminal background checks. Since its founding in 2010, Defy Ventures, with the help of more than 3500 executive volunteers and mentors, has supported more than 300 formerly incarcerated Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) to develop the business acumen necessary to turn their lives around. Defy’s programs help to break the cycle of poverty and recidivism by identifying and transforming the EIT’s business skills and redirecting them towards the creation of profitable and legal business ventures.
“We are incredibly honored to be recognized by MDC Partners and the WIRED community,” said Catherine Hoke, founder and CEO of Defy Ventures. “So many Americans with criminal records remain permanently stigmatized and do not have access to the jobs and opportunities that will allow them to live up to their full potential. By investing in their entrepreneurial skills, we not only break the cycle of incarceration, but we create better lives for our EITs, their families and their communities, while positively contributing to the American economy.”
About Defy Ventures
Defy Ventures is a national entrepreneurship, employment and character building training program that recognizes that many former drug dealers and gang leaders can become successful, legal entrepreneurs. Defy “transforms the hustle” of formerly incarcerated Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) by offering intensive leadership development, business plan competitions executive mentoring, financial support and start up incubation. Find out more at www.defyventures.org
About MDC Partners Inc.
MDC Partners is one of the world’s largest Business Transformation Organizations that utilizes technology, marketing communications, data analytics, insights and strategic consulting solutions to drive meaningful returns on Marketing and Communications Investments for multinational clients in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
MDC Partners’ durable competitive advantage is to Empower the Most Talented Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders to Drive Business Success to new levels of Achievement, for both our Clients and our Shareholders, reinforcing the Company’s reputation as “The Place Where Great Talent Lives.”
MDC Partners’ Class A shares are publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol “MDCA” and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “MDZ.A”.