About this episode

To kick off Season 2, we are featuring Tony Kirwan, founder of Destiny Rescue. A listener reached out to me last year and suggested that I highlight his story. Destiny Rescue is a nonprofit organization that focuses on rescuing young girls out of the sex trafficking industry, providing rehabilitation services and vocational training. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, so I felt it was fitting to highlight the work of Tony and his organization.

When we think about founders and entrepreneurs we do not include those who founded a nonprofit organization. For some reason we look at entrepreneurs as those who build for-profit businesses. Yet, the startup story of a nonprofit is almost identical to that of a for-profit business.

In this episode, we spend quite a bit of time unpacking how Tony started Destiny Rescue and the rescue tactics they use. Tony’s entrepreneurship is a journey of choices. At age 22, he chose to purchase a business and try to grow it. He had a great 10-year run with that business, that is until another choice was put in front of him. Like Tony said, whether you choose to do something or nothing…it is still a choice you have to make. This is Tony’s startup story.

In this episode, you’ll hear

  • His first lightbulb moment, realizing he wanted to be hands-on and helping kids overseas
  • How Tony first learned about human trafficking and how it turned out to be the catalyst to rescuing young girls out of the sex trafficking industry
  • The story and meaning behind the name, Destiny Rescue
  • Securing funding and creating a nonprofit organization
  • For the first five years, Tony’s focus was on helping widows and orphans
  • Some of the lessons learned in those first few years, including learning to provide enough time to build trust in order to help women and children from sex trafficking
  • All about his first rescue, what is involved in a rescue, and two of the ways it can take place (with law enforcement or with rescue agents)
  • What aftercare looks like, including rehab and vocational services
  • The importance of understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a founder, and putting yourself into a position where you can utilize your strengths for the organization’s greater good
  • Tony’s biggest lesson and advice to those wanting to start an organization, whether it be for profit or nonprofit

"Everybody has the capacity and ability to do something. It’s a matter of deciding what your ‘something’ is and deciding to do it.”
—Tony Kirwan, Destiny Rescue

Resources from this episode

Throughout the month of January we are highlighting the mission of Destiny Rescue. Visit https://www.thestartupstory.co/rescue or https://2dr.li/5BXh to help today.

Destiny Rescue: https://www.destinyrescue.org/us/

The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney

The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/

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The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.

First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!


If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.

He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.

Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory

Special Guest: Tony Kirwan.

Listen Now

January 07 2020
Tony Kirwan, founder of Destiny Rescue
Sponsored by: Your Logo Here

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