BELOIT — Rock County Christian School (RCCS) is offering new classes on entrepreneurship thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. The school has hired instructor Arthur Hendrick to teach classes and eventually guide students in crafting a business plan to launch their own entrepreneurial endeavors.
“Our seniors will develop a full-fledged business plan and go into business,” Hendrick said.
Thanks to Hendrick being on board, RCCS also will be launching a school store for students and bringing in community business leaders to discuss management techniques.
Students will be approaching business from a Christian perspective.
“Being an entrepreneur should be a calling from God, rather than viewing it as a career or something to do just to make money,” Hendrick said. “God gives us the talents we need to be an entrepreneur and we have the responsibility to make use of those talents.”
Hendrick said Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A were examples of large scale Christian businesses doing well.
Hendrick said students interested in business have to be willing to take risks, but have to also be skilled in organization and management. Having a strong Christian faith, he said, makes taking those risks a little easier.
Hendrick was CEO of Age Advantage Inc. for 16 years. The business administered government contracts to provide services to older people. He also marketed an exercise program for people with arthritis.
“When I took over it in 1978, its revenue was $750,000. When I left in 1995, it was $5.5 million,” Hendrick said.
Hendrick’s also been involved in running furniture retail stores and gas stations.
In 1997 Hendrick started teaching economics courses, and was most recently teaching at BTC.
Hendrick said God has called him to be a teacher. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award while at Lakeland College in Madison.
RCCS also has a strong business emphasis at his elementary campus with Junior Achievement being offered.
“Teachers are encouraged to provide entrepreneurship principles during their regular teaching, and kids run little businesses in their classrooms,” said Tim Befus, RCCS administrator.
Befus said entrepreneur Matt Finnegan, one of the school’s board members, spoke to him about the idea two years ago. After meeting with different business people in the community, the Knight Foundation contacted RCCS.
“We'd love to be known as a school with a strong Christian entrepreneurship model,” Befus said.
RCCS also features a business of the month which recognizes businesses which are partners at the school.