Owner and founder Sekwan Merritt founded Lightning Electric in 2017 with a mission to create economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals and at-risk youth living in Baltimore. While incarcerated himself, Mr. Merritt refined his electrical work skills as an electrician for the prison and earned 40 credits toward a bachelor’s degree through the Goucher College Prison Education Partnership. Upon his release, he started providing services to homeowners in low-income neighborhoods and building his company, all while maintaining a job as a paralegal. When Mr. Merritt earned his Maryland Master Electrician License in 2018 and Prop Prep Properties became certified as a Maryland Minority Business Enterprise in 2019, the business started generating larger contracts with both homeowners and real estate investors. A loan from BCL allowed the business to obtain supplies and materials and cover payroll expenses in order to fulfill these growing contracts. In addition to training and employing returning citizens and at-risk youth, Mr. Merritt is a restorative justice activist who advocates for criminal justice reform.