While still a teenager and college undergraduate, Christopher Sinclair made the best business decision of his life: He put a paltry $500 into launching Anthem Entertainment. Sinclair, 27, has seen that modest investment pay major dividends: Anthem is now an event-planning, marketing and staffing business with operations in as many as 40 states, a base in metropolitan Boston and annual sales in the seven figures.
But financial success was never Sinclair's only motivation. Today he spends much of his time imparting the entrepreneurial skills he's learned to traditionally disadvantaged people. Most recently, Sinclair spent the hot summer months of 2006 in South Africa organizing educational workshops, reviewing business plans, analyzing funding criteria and honing skills with local entrepreneurs--many of whom could not read or write. "They had brilliant ideas," he says, "but they needed guidance on making a dream a reality."
Closer to home, he has worked with the University of Notre Dame to design classroom exercises and course curriculum for underserved high school students with entrepreneurial interests. The results are more rewarding than any bottom-line figure: "I grew up without much money and guidance," he explains. "I wish I had a mentor earlier in life, so that's what I'd like to provide to others."