Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.
On August 18, 2011, I had the honor of being recognized as a Champion of Change at The White House for my efforts as a young entrepreneur who is using creative and forward thinking ideas to create opportunities for growth in my community.
I had the great opportunity to discuss entrepreneurship, innovation, and education with other successful entrepreneurs, students & White House officials. We talked about how schools and organizations such as the Small Business Administration can be a great resource for those who have an idea, but need guidance on taking that idea and turning it into a sustainable business. We also discussed what role, aside from creating jobs, business can contribute to their communities.
I built my business, fourOsix, on the idea that profitability & social responsibility go hand in hand. The name “four ‘O’ six” was chosen to represent Montana, because it is the only area code for the entire state, (406). fourOsix is a lifestyle shop that promotes art, music, style, forward thinking & Montana living. It is a retail store that operates with a strong focus on community & social responsibility. The store’s primary purpose is to contribute to local communities and promote a fun, healthy, active lifestyle.
Though fourOsix is not a non-profit venture, it invests most of its profit back into the community. It contributes time and resources to local schools, organizes & funds art, music & recreation events around Montana, sponsors a multitude of national, state & local non-profits whose sole objectives are to better the lives of those in the local communities, and it does all of those things through the success of fourOsix. Since the store’s infancy, its goal was and still is to build a successful brand while simultaneously making a positive impact to its local community and economy not just through words, but rather by action.
We, as individuals and as a nation, have the power to help rebuild our economy. I believe that we have more resources now than ever to learn, create & build our ideas into businesses that can act as a vehicle that will take us wherever we choose to take it.
Don’t be afraid of taking a chance & pursuing your dreams. Believe in yourself, take a deep breath... and jump. Choose the life you love... & love the life you live.
Alex “Papu” Rincon is a entrepreneur in Montana and Founder/Owner of fourOsix.