During our 8 year tenure in youth entrepreneurship, through the bow tie retailer and social impact company Build-A-Bow ( More information on Build-A-Bow here www.buildabowbyalex.com) The number one question asked to us by youth is " How can I become an entrepreneur like Alex". Seeing a need for mentorship and education centered around Entrepreneurship. Our team Alex, Karee, Heidi and Avery formed the Hustle and Heart Academy to provide a solution, through guiding & fostering youth ideas centered around Art, innovation and Creativity.
We created an entrepreneurship resource Academy and brought together an interdisciplinary group of people around the topics of “Art, Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. As founding members of the core team, we bring distinct disciplinary perspectives (organizational behavior, youth mentors, artist, social entrepreneurs, leaders of the community and special education educators). Our ties to Build-A-Bow and the community ground us in the practical concerns of the workplace and the labor market ensuring that our research is and will be useful to youth entrepreneurs and managers.
We sought a rigorous social scientific understanding of the processes by which creative people develop novel ideas that garner interest and support from stakeholders and lead to new organizations and new industries that fundamentally alter economic and social orders. In short, we layed the foundations for a social school of youth entrepreneurship.
We are conceptualizing art and entrepreneurship as a process by which our students and groups generate novel ideas, sort through the choices set to identify those that are most promising, present the ideas to relevant stakeholders (who similarly undertake an evaluation process by our academy leaders), mobilize resources and support. Embody their idea in an organizational form that engages in market-based competition.
A unique and important aspect of our Academy is that we tend to the employment aspects of entrepreneurship. There is wide recognition that entrepreneurship plays an important role in the economy and an emerging view that a substantial number of new jobs are created by start-ups. We also know that many promising entrepreneurial ventures ultimately fail and we want to change that. By Building and educating future key stakeholders, leaders and youth Entrepreneurs on the fundamentals of start-ups and helping them to develop their ideas they become prepared for adulthood.
Mission Statement: Hustle and Heart is a trampoline for at risk youth to catapult and conceptualize noble ideas through art, creativity and innovation. We help at risk youth become leaders and future key stakeholders for their communities through educational programs, hands on activities and overcoming obstacles. We help them find their “why” and the power of entrepreneurship. Hustle and Heart will set them apart.
We capitalize on four trends in the social sciences to foster a deeper understanding of how art, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship operate: the emerging emphasis on how social and cultural factors shape individual and collective judgments.
We believe there are two key factors in entrepreneurship, hustle and heart. Hustle is defined by your effort to work hard relentlessly in the face of discomfort to achieve your goals. It means unbeatable work ethic, No regards for rejection & having an Innovative knack for getting noticed. Its about having tenacity, grit, focus, dedication and determination. The heart factor is about your purpose, understanding what you want out of life and what you want to contribute to the world. It's about having compassion behind your project, overcoming obstacles and loving what you do for yourself and others. We believe in social entrepreneurship, having a mission or social impact behind your project “ Heart”. In the entrepreneurship realm Hustle and Heart is what set us apart in Build-A-Bow. Alex is one of the worlds leading youth Entrepreneurs because of it, our Academy plans to guide many more leading youth entrepreneurs on their path to success.
We know not every child has the same ideas, projects or interests. This is why at Hustle and Heart we have a core curriculum, but offer a scope of individualized based courses in the sectors of Art, Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. Once we have the location the Academy secured, we will begin creating the build- out of maker stations for our students. The idea is that by putting them in the space, they can not only be educated but learn through hands on training and conceptualize their projects and bring them to fruition.
Having maker stations such as a commercial kitchen, helps our young entrepreneurs interested in a business centered around food products because they are able to create a product and produce it for their company. Maker stations such as a sewing lab, helps our young entrepreneurs interested in Design. Entrepreneurs interested in tech will love our computer lab where they can learn coding, gaming, graphics and design. Having a pop up storefront, will give them the opportunity to learn the operations of a business. Interact with customers, learn marketing and engagement.
We can not do this alone, it truly takes a village. We are consistently growing, and pushing the needle forward. If you have suggestions, ideas or have interest in sponsoring one of our maker stations or helping with any of our programs, please reach out to us we would love to hear from you!