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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is hosting Brian Hamilton and Free Enterprise for a special community event at the Hance Auditorium on the JWU campus on Tuesday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. COVID protocols limit auditorium seating, but an overflow area will be provided. Attendees must wear masks.

Brian Hamilton, star of the award-winning ABC series Free Enterprise, will speak about the power of entrepreneurism and practical approaches to its success and then take questions from the audience. Cast and crew from Free Enterprise will be in attendance and portions of the event will be filmed for possible inclusion in a future episode. The ABC series is currently in Charlotte filming two episodes to air nationally in 2022.

Every week on Free Enterprise, Brian Hamilton helps an aspiring entrepreneur, who was once incarcerated and now struggles to find employment, turn their low capital business idea into a money-making venture within a week. The award-winning series is currently in its second season.

“We are proud to be in filming Free Enterprise in Charlotte to help local entrepreneurs become part of the American Dream,” says Katherine Loflin, Executive Producer of Free Enterprise. “Brian is creating a growing movement and we look forward to meeting the Charlotte community at this event to continue that conversation thanks to Johnson & Wales University and our shared commitment to this work.”

Entrepreneurship runs deep at JWU Charlotte. More than one-third of JWU alumni have participated in the startup of one or more businesses, and JWU offers a 4-year entrepreneurship degree program. Last week, the university unveiled PURPOSE 2024, a new strategic plan which showcases an educational experience that is rooted in excellence and a commitment to strengthening the university’s ties to industry and support for entrepreneurship.

“The College of Business at Johnson & Wales University is pleased to host Brian Hamilton as we share a vision of lifting people up through entrepreneurship,” says James Woods, Ph.D., chair, College of Business. “Our students bring business ideas to our refreshed Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, a space for collaboration and shared learning between students, faculty and staff, and the community with the goal of advancing entrepreneurship in our region.

About Johnson & Wales University
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 9,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its campuses in Providence, Rhode Island and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, food innovation, hospitality, nutrition, health and wellness. It also offers undergraduate programs in culinary arts, dietetics and design. JWU’s unique model provides students with the personalized attention, academic expertise and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The time students spend at JWU is nothing short of transformative, as demonstrated by career outcomes, expected earnings and economic mobility rankings. The university’s impact is global, with alumni in 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide.

About Brian Hamilton
Brian Hamilton is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a leading voice on the power of entrepreneurship and ownership to transform lives. He is the founder of Sageworks, the country’s first fintech company, which helped millions of small business owners translate complex financial information. Brian is also the founder of Inmates to Entrepreneurs, the longest running program in the country dedicated to teaching people with criminal records how to start their own businesses. He also stars in Free Enterprise on ABC.

About Free Enterprise
Free Enterprise is an award-winning national television show on ABC where Brian Hamilton and other mentors help formerly incarcerated individuals start their own businesses after struggling to find employment. The show is based on Hamilton’s Inmates to Entrepreneurs program. In its second season, Free Enterprise is a groundbreaking success, earning two Telly Awards among other accolades, with an average of 750,000 viewers per week and top ratings in leading US markets.



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