WAKE FOREST — Heritage Middle School welcomed a local entrepreneur known for his charitable work into its classrooms earlier this month.
Brian Hamilton, the founder of the Brian Hamilton Foundation, a Raleigh-based financial tech firm, spoke to eighth-grade students at Heritage Middle school on March 6.
Hamilton, a 1990 graduate of Duke University, spoke on behalf of his foundation, which is an organization that seeks to give prospective entrepreneurs tools and resources to be successful in starting up, running and growing a business.
The foundation initially started in 2008 as Inmates to Entrepreneurs, an outreach program to help those with a criminal background have information and resources to start a business upon release from jail.
Hamilton sees speaking to middle school students as an opportunity to inspire the younger generation.
“When I sold my stake in Sageworks last year, part of the decision was that I could fully focus on the foundation and expand to include middle schools students whose minds can be more easily molded and pointed in the right direction,” Hamilton said.
During the two 30-minute assemblies, Hamilton explained the concept of entrepreneurship to the students and gave helpful advice on the types of businesses to start.
“Let’s say you have a ‘pooper-scooper’ business,” Hamilton said to the students in a thought exercise. “Jobs like that are an opportunity because there are jobs that most people don’t want to do but need to be done.”
Hamilton also fought back on the stereotypes and myths about entrepreneurs being “greedy.”
“While there are bad actors out there that may operate under the idea of ‘greed is good,’ most entrepreneurs are actually the most giving people in terms of both jobs and charity.”