Roxie Hentz Launches CEOs of Tomorrow
Dr. Roxie Hentz earned her Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch College
in Milwaukee and taught in the Milwaukee Public Schools while
also running an education-focused non-profit.
“My new business, CEOs of Tomorrow, which is a for-profit business, has been established to change the community, to address social
issues,” Hentz said. “And I am doing it through kids. The reason isn’t to maximize profits. It’s profit plus mission. You work for a profit, but that
isn’t the purpose of the business. It is really to address social issues, oppression, poverty and things of that nature. But it also brings in
academic relevance. All of the curriculum that I teach is aligned to English and math standards, business standards as well as 21st Century
standards. So it’s integrated into academics, but it’s purposeful academics. They aren’t sitting just reading a book. They are engaged in real
learning with impact.”
CEOs of Tomorrow has three basic offerings. The first is its elementary student program for kids in grades 4-8 that reaches them at a young age
and instills in them that “can do” attitude and gives them tools to start an organization to pursue their passion.
“We walk them through the steps in engaging, fun, innovative ways the steps to open real businesses,” Hentz said. “So we’re not just
teaching how to do it. They actually open their own businesses. They learn how to write business plans. They learn how to market their
business. They learn how to identify social issues. We research in a fun way because research doesn’t sound like fun. But they investigate
social issues and identify one that they are really passionate about. Either they experienced something themselves, know someone who has
or it just touches them. But we unlock and unpackage the issues that exist. And then they design businesses to address those particular
issues, either directly or indirectly. We also do talent exploration where kids get to identify what their talents and skills are and what they love
to do. We know that if you are doing what you love, it really impacts what you do. So how do you help kids, if they don’t know, discover and
unpack their talents and skills and use that talent to influence the businesses that they open? And it doesn’t matter what your level of poverty
or race is. Everyone has the skills and ability to impact change and address social issues. It’s empowering no matter who you are. And I think
that is pretty cool.”
There is also an intensive high school program where the students can earn three credits from the University of Iowa.
“The students actually do market research,” Hentz said. “They do customer discovery. They actually do the business model campus. They do a
deeper exploration of business, but it is all focused on social entrepreneurship and using your business to make a difference.”
And the third program is a teacher training that gives teachers resources to teach social entrepreneurship within the context of standards and
guidelines that teachers are required to follow.
“We have lesson plans that walk teachers through how to teach entrepreneurship education with a social entrepreneurship lens,” Hentz said.
“There is a whole chapter on poverty. It’s all aligned to academic standards so they can see exactly what standard they are addressing with
each lesson that they are teaching. This will allow them to integrate social entrepreneurship in their classroom and make teaching and
learning engaging. Again, that goes down to fourth grade.”
Business savvy blended with a social cause equals a life of purpose and accomplishment.
Part 2 of 2
By Jonathan Gramling
As we talk at 100 State, the high-tech, trending business incubator that
brings people from disparate professional backgrounds together to create
synergies for the development of new ideas and business concepts, I can
see that Roxie Hentz fits right in. She has a youthful enthusiasm and a “can
do” attitude. And she is an “outside-the-box” thinker who is almost
compelled to find solutions to societal problems through a business-
entrepreneurial model. Start a business or a non-profit or an kind of
organization that can sustain itself as it seeks solutions to environmental,
scientific or social problems that humankind confronts. She seeks to create
businesses that seek to maximize their capacity to deal with society’s
issues and not to maximize profits. If it doesn’t exist, then create it.
“Social entrepreneurship is a marriage between business and the
community,” Hentz said. “Social entrepreneurship education is teaching
kids how to manage a business that impacts the world. That business is
open to address poverty, homelessness, racism, whatever issue that they
find they are passionate about, their business is designed to address that
Last January, Hentz founded CEOs of Tomorrow to build the social
entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation.