Zero Model is a national social enterprise launching winning businesses and providing life-changing employment for the formerly incarcerated. Our work is built on a model that leverages the limitless potential of people and the transforming power of businesses and jobs. 

We partner with entrepreneurs who have carefully crafted business models, are experts in their craft, and provide unmatched value to their customers. Our businesses span construction, composting, painting, apparel, and more.

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We identify, cultivate, and staff highly qualified candidates, placing them in jobs in one of our portfolio companies or in positions with other companies that are open to second chance employment.   


excellence matters

In 2014, Donta Bell was living in a halfway house and working seasonally as a pressure washer for PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA. He had applied at fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and warehouses, but every door closed because he had served seven years for possession with intent to sell illegal drugs.  Read More



Truth builds trust

We collaborate with community members, business partners, and key stakeholders to highlight the diverse talents, abilities, and potential of women and men re-entering our community.   



zero model nova is an expansion of the Zero Model, modeling its practices on the successes of Zero model: PGH, the original incubator of this type founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2013.

We work with local and national partners to change the stigma associated with formerly incarcerated women and men and highlight the stories and impact being made by highly motivated, skilled, and driven individuals who just so happen to have a criminal history.

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