Business Unusual

America’s entrepreneurial spirit remains strong in the midst of the worst financial crisis in decades. Last year, some 530,000 new businesses were created in the United States, start-ups that are—at this very moment—generating jobs, recovery and societal progress.

Evergreen Entrepreneurs Working for Change

Raising Some Cane With Bamboo

Jackie Heinricher, '86

Bamboo shoots in glass tubes

Sound Experiment: Aphonia Recordings

Ben L. Robertson, '03, & Andrew Senna, '04

Ben and Andrew

Pressing for Success

Sabra Ewing, '80

illustration of cider bottle

The Entrepreneurial Forester

Ian Hanna, '93 and Kirk Hanson, '95

boots on a log

Behind the Image

Zoriah Miller, '97

Zoriah Miller

With the world facing challenges that extend beyond the economy, this spirit is needed more than ever. Entrepreneurship is a tremendous force for change. From the ranks of small business owners come the leaders and innovators who not only create jobs and value for their communities and society at large, but also empower others to dream of a better future. These enterprising people notice the opportunities, develop the new tools and approaches, and take on the risks that drive economic recovery and social development.

Evergreen continues to grow its commitment to educating business leaders who can think creatively, and boasts entrepreneurial alumni all over the country.

Evergreen’s progressive spirit and style of thinking flows through the many diverse ventures of our alumni, whether they attended the college in its earliest years or after it had been around for a few decades. Take Sabra Ewing ’80, who helped spark the revival of an old tradition and founded a community service organization that has had an enormous impact on her town. Or Jackie Heinricher ’86, who is revolutionizing agriculture through new ways of growing bamboo. Or Andrew Senna ’04 and Ben Robertson ’03, who carved out a new niche in the digital music market that has changed the way experimental and avant-garde musicians reach their audiences. All of these people are making a difference in the world.

In educating the next wave of entrepreneurs, Evergreen provides a model for conveying the type of learning that is necessary for addressing complex problems—and for building the kinds of organizations that will spur a sustainable, humane economy.

“...we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted–for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things–some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom”

– Barack Obama, Inaugural Speech
January 21, 2009