Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Igniting the entrepreneurial mindset


Awakening the entrepreneurial spirit.

It is said, you are never too young to start thinking big! In fact, according to Rod Hames, a business teacher at Crews Middle School, is counting big time on it.

Employees from Georgia-Pacific along with other local business professionals have recently spent some quality time with a few bright students from Lawrenceville, Georgia.

This annual event, brought together 71 students from Hames' class with forty professional mentors. During the course of events, the students had the opportunity to pitch their business in a one-on-one conversations and learn about real-life entrepreneurial concepts including the importance of communication and project management, and learn the ropes on how to turn their ideas into reality. 

They received invaluable advice from mentors including Georgia-Pacific’s Bob Berry, senior category director, and Deborah Baker, retired vice president of sustainable forestry.

Georgia‐Pacific’s employee volunteer program is a network of current and retired employees who make a difference by volunteering for service projects and events in their communities.
“I was so impressed and glad to see an entrepreneurial program moving forward and see it in action and lastly, to be a part of it,” said Baker.

Hames inspires his students and prepares them for a shark-tank-style classroom competition. 

“My purpose is to help students learn how they can add value to everything they do. My goal is to help them know their ‘why,” said Hames.

Following the event, a student said, “I learned that I could take the initiative and have all the resources needed to start my business right now and am very capable of doing so.”

Georgia-Pacific and its parent company, Koch Industries, support numerous programs to help young minds pursue their passions and develop their business and analytical skills and latent talents.

“We speak of virtuous cycles of mutual benefit at Koch,” said Berry. “This program at Crews Middle School is a great example of that concept. These cycles begin when we develop capabilities that enable us to create value for others. We call these cycles virtuous because they benefit all parties, from yourself to society.”

Koch Industries supports the school through funding from a program called ’Empowered.’ 
"Current employees, like me, and retired employees, like Deborah, find fulfillment in helping future entrepreneurs who one day may become employees at a Koch company, a supplier, or a customer,” said Berry.

Armed with such sessions, the students are equipped to make their dreams come true.