After receiving $750,000 from investors in the audience of her Project Entrepreneur pitch at BC Law, Stacey Borden was able to bring to fruition her twelve-year dream of establishing a halfway house for women.
Though the class—and her funding pitch—took place at the Law School, Borden was not a law student and not, by most measures, a conventional student. Rather, she was a formerly incarcerated individual taking part in a BC Law program that teaches its students business law by having them work with formerly incarcerated clients interested in starting their own enterprise. Borden had been developing an organization, New Beginnings Reentry Services, since 2016, with the goal of creating a holistic center for formerly incarcerated women.
It was 2019 when Borden made her successful pitch to investors. A recent story in The Dig provided an update on what has happened since. In 2022, New Beginnings opened the doors of Kimya’s House, named after Borden’s daughter, to help returning women transition into society.
According to The Dig, the facility houses up to ten tenants who partake in a re-entry program that includes access to therapy, educational services, and life skills courses. Currently, three women reside in the house, one of whom served in prison with Borden and encouraged her to turn her life around when she was released. Each woman comes to the house for different reasons, from relapses to suicidal behaviors to domestic violence. All have made progress in their re-entries through the program’s structure and comradery.
As New Beginnings has grown, it has established partnerships and received additional funding, including a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation.
Borden’s involvement in Project Entrepreneur was featured in the Winter 2021 issue of BC Law Magazine.
Illustration by Edel Rodriguez