Tinkering with the Toy Industry
What compelled a rising star of the finance industry to leave his job and start a toy company in Honduras? "First, I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Even at a young age, I'd stay up late thinking of new ideas. Second, I loved working in finance, but the prospect of making more money and rising in title, on its own, was not all that appealing to me. I was increasingly in a position to give financially to various initiatives, but I wanted to invest my time and talent, too," says Will Haughey, 32. He started Tegu in 2009 with his brother, Chris, after four years of investment banking at Goldman Sachs. (Chris calls himself the "Head Elf," while Will is "Chief Blockhead.")
Tegue makes magnetic building blocks and is based in Honduras, the third poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haughey chose to work in Honduras--even though his profit margins would be smaller than in other industrialized nations--because he wanted to make a long-term impact on those living there.
The company seeks to pay its workers a living wage and prioritize long-term career development. Haughey explains, "We recently started a savings program for our employees. They can now set aside some of their earnings, and we will match a portion of it. Of course, the industry paradigm in the developing world is to pay as little as possible to workers and to get from them as much as possible. The gospel, however, opens our eyes to see our employees as people made in the image of God. We want to create programs that benefit them, helping them to provide for their families and contribute to their own communities."