Pete Ochs, the founder of Capital III, is an entrepreneur with manufacturing, real estate, energy, and education companies in the US and Latin America.
Pete named the company Capital III because of his conviction that businesses should have a triple bottom line: economic, social, and spiritual. The economic bottom line is created by operating a profitable enterprise. The social bottom line occurs when the business leverages its financial resources to creatively meet social needs. And the spiritual bottom line materializes when the company intentionally uses its platform to influence its employees, vendors, and customers for Christ.
Pete realized that the glue to ensure the businesses would remain focused on accomplishing the triple bottom line were Capital III’s Vision, Mission, and Values:
Our Vision is to help change the world through entrepreneurship.
Our Mission is to be an absolutely trusted business.
Our Values are to honor God by serving people, pursuing excellence, and stewarding resources.
In 2009, Capital III bought a bankrupt manufacturing business located in a small rural community. Their biggest dilemma was how to hire enough workers in a town with a very small labor force. To compound the problem, they needed employees that would work a completely flexible schedule – from 20 to 40 hours a week – depending entirely on the volume of business.
Pete and his leadership team prayed and sought the Lord’s direction. They were led to try something completely out of the box. They approached the local state-operated correctional facility about utilizing the prison population as the labor force. Inmates were earning only about 70 cents a day, and Capital III could pay them a starting salary of about $10 an hour. Approximately thirty percent of their wage would be used to reimburse the state for their room and board. The rest they could spend, save, or send to help support their families.
This creative solution has accomplished all three bottom lines.
Economic: Because the labor force is flexible, the company is able to control and reduce its labor costs, meet the just-in-time demands of its customers, and reduce inventories, all of which contribute to the profitability of the business. The company also doesn't need to compensate the work force with paid vacation time! Inmates can earn up to $100 per day, compared to $7 while working for the state.
Social: The state and taxpayers benefit because a portion of what the prisoners earn defrays the cost of room and board. Prisoners are motivated to behave well while in prison, because anyone involved with a disciplinary problem is not eligible to work for Capital III. The prisoners also learn marketable skills that will help them earn a living once they are released from prison. Interestingly, the inmates have chosen to send a majority of what they receive in salary to help support their families.
Spiritual: Capital III is committed to treating the work force with respect and to help them in practical ways. They are helping to build a spiritual life center at the prison, in which life skill classes and Bible studies are conducted. Capital III also has been instrumental in starting a seminary inside the prison. The business also provides periodic meals and get-togethers for the workers and their families. Every two weeks, Capital III provides motivational and inspirational programs for its workers. In short, the workers have been valued and loved. This has influenced many to consider Christ as their Savior.
Pete Ochs has a big vision. He is praying for the Lord to replicate this model of valuing people and creating economic, social, and spiritual capital in businesses across America and around the world.