Through continued internal promotion of and recruitment to the 'Venture Citizen' program, Best Buy expects to see:
- A marked increase in the number of Best Buy 'Venture Citizens' from 14% to 20% of total employee population.
- One million hours volunteered by Best Buy employees in U.S. communities.
- An increase in the number of Best Buy employee-led social ventures in test markets.
- Continued tracking and communication of dollars matched to employee ventures and volunteer hours.
Moira Hardek and Seth Owusu are two exceptional examples of this 'Venture Citizenship' commitment: Both are Geek Squad agents and share a love of technology and computers. In the past year, they have taken action in amazing ways, in their home communities, to provide opportunities for youth.
After graduating from Mother McAuley High School in suburban Chicago, Moira became a Geek Squad agent, and today is a Mission Specialist at Best Buy's corporate headquarters. Looking for a way to recruit more great female talent for Geek Squad, she went back to her alma mater to get young teen girls excited about being agents. She wanted to show them a different, more creative, side of technology - to get them interested and excited in it. Geek Squad hosted 300 young teen girls over two weeks in June 2007 for the first-ever Geek Squad Summer Academy, founded and hosted by Moira.
In addition to his day job as Deputy Supervisor in Best Buy's Columbia Heights store in Washington, D.C., Seth does even more important work in his home country of Ghana. Seth founded Entire Village Computers Organization (EVCO), Inc., a grassroots nonprofit organization aimed at using education to eradicate poverty, hunger, ignorance, and disease in sub-Saharan Africa, starting with Ghana. EVCO donates refurbished computers and accessories to village schools, where illiteracy rates are more than 80 percent, along with computer workshops and motivational speeches.
Moira and Seth's programs - both of which have expanded in 2008 - are just two major examples of the inspirational, venture approach that Best Buy's employees bring to their communities. The company's Tag Team Awards in fiscal 2008 provided more than .4 million to nonprofits across the U.S., matching more than 151,000 hours the employees volunteered to those organizations - a near threefold increase over 2006. And, in the Best Buy stores, is being piloted the Blue Shirt Corps, a program designed to deploy the unique talents of the employees to serve communities where a human need can be met with technology expertise.
Today, Best Buy has over 20,000 active 'Venture Citizen' employees. Its commitment is to extend this philosophy, and to mark its success by expanding 'Venture Citizen' programs. Best Buy believes that its employees can help make a difference in U.S. communities. Following Seth's lead, the opportunities for employees in new markets and geographies will expand this philosophy over the next three years.
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