Part of New City’s Flourish Phoenix campaign will be going towards Hustle PHX, an organization led by Pastor Oye Waddell. Pastor Oye took some time to share a little more about the history, vision and model of the organization and how it is impacting our city of Phoenix:
What is the mission of Hustle Phoenix?
Oye: Motivated by Christian faith, Hustle PHX encourages the creation of sustainable business ventures that affirm the dignity of people and lead to the flourishing of all communities in Phoenix. A theological understanding of business and the common good is woven throughout the Hustle PHX program.
What motivated you to start Hustle PHX?
Oye: As a young man growing up in inner city Los Angeles, many (myself included) had a “poverty mindset.” We didn’t believe we had many career or financial options, which impacted the way we viewed the family, school, friends and work.
At the young age of 14, friends that I would play basketball with on a daily basis started joining gangs. It was not long before my friends who had been initiated into gangs were selling illegal drugs and consequently starting earning higher incomes. They were even able to start buying brand named clothes and new cars. However, as I witnessed how my friends were growing in financial freedom I also witnessed how families were being destroyed by drug use. The financial freedom for my friends came at a great cost to their families and the community.
At this time I did not consider myself a Christian, however I knew that this was not the way it was supposed to be! As I entered into college I started to ask questions. What if there was a better way? What if my friends were taught how to use their God-given ability to create opportunities that would bless the community and their own families?
How did you get the name “Hustle PHX”?
Oye: The idea for “Hustle” PHX was inspired by the fact that most of my friends selling drugs would have considered themselves “hustlers.” They were creating a profit from the opportunity that was given to them via illegal drug sales. I believe that some of the best natural entrepreneurs in the United States are in underserved urban communities.
At Hustle PHX a hustler is a visionary risk-taker who seizes the opportunity to move product and turn a profit. They have the God-given skills, attributes, and talents of an entrepreneur, but they lack resources needed to create sustainable businesses that benefit the broader community. At Hustle PHX, we want to let the hustlers hustle for the common good.
What is Hustle PHX’s model? How does it work?
Oye: Through our program, we provide a limited number of carefully selected entrepreneurs with three essential kinds of capital:
1) Intellectual Capital: education and skill development is provided through an entrepreneurial curriculum. The curriculum includes weekly discussions and experiential learning modules.
2) Human Capital: entrepreneurs are connected with mentors who are currently successful leaders in business and who can provide assistance in the process of incubating, designing, launching, and scaling new businesses.
3) Financial Capital: entrepreneurs will receive the opportunity to participate in a Micro-Fund that provides low-interest loans that can help the entrepreneurs create jobs, build assets, and improve their standard of living.
What is the organization’s biggest need?
Oye: There are currently two ways to get involved, through social and financial capital.
Social Capital: Hustle PHX is in need of volunteer mentors who can provide assistance in the process of incubating, designing, launching, and scaling new businesses.
Financial Capital: Hustle PHX is in the process of raising fifty thousand dollars for selected entrepreneurs to participate in a Micro-Fund that provides low interest loans that can help the entrepreneurs create jobs, build assets, and improve their standard of living.