We so love what we do. Bpeace is the nonprofit network of business volunteers who work with entrepreneurs in violence-affected communities to scale their businesses, create significant employment for all and expand the economic power of women. More Jobs Mean Less Violence.®
It's a big team effort. With volunteer experts and U.S. Host Companies, Bpeace has created a successful mentor program that reaches out to entrepreneurs running small and growing businesses in areas of conflict. We stimulate business growth by rolling up our sleeves and offering guidance, support and technical advice geared to foster employment and expansion.
Through a four-month competitive process every year, we select only entrepreneurs with momentum, not startups. We call them Fast Runners because they are in the best position to create jobs for others in their community.
We operate like a pro bono consulting firm. Either by long-distance mentoring or by in-country visits, our volunteer experts share functional expertise in HR, finance and marketing; and industry-specific technical advice for industries ranging from food processing to technology. The Bpeace consulting toolbox also includes local staff with private-sector consulting experience, and Bpeace-arranged visits to U.S. Host Companies.
Enabling carefully selected entrepreneurs to create more jobs, especially for women, increases community capacity and stability--and reduces the poverty and desperation that so often seed violence.
Since 2002, Bpeace has proven that making a difference in an entrepreneur's business can be life changing for the entrepreneur, their employees and even for the person volunteering.
A minimum of 65% of our portfolio of entrepreneurs are women who either own or lead businesses.
We select only entrepreneurs with momentum, not startups. This provides the best return on the time of our volunteers.
We provide entrepreneurs guidance through several business cycles--typically for at least 18 months and sometimes up to three years.
We only work in communities with a history of internal strife and where jobs can prevent the recurrence of violence. In 2014, we are operating in Afghanistan, Rwanda, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Our strength comes from our member volunteers--top-notch business professionals who readily share their skills, knowledge, networks and resources.
We measure the outcomes Bpeace entrepreneurs create (jobs, financial improvement, opportunity). Among Fast Runners who have been in our program for more than a year, job growth averages 10%.
Often referred to as SMEs, the Missing Middle or small and growing businesses (SGBs), Bpeace focuses on small and medium-sized businesses, the engines of job creation.
We customize the pro bono consulting services we provide for each entrepreneur, depending on each business's unique opportunities for growth.
The business relationships we facilitate among entrepreneurs, volunteers and U.S. Host Companies inspire long-lasting, sustainable networks.
Creating better educational materials is creating jobs in Guatemala, and this business is also reorienting thousands of children in Central America away from violence.
Gabriela Maldonado is the founder of Jugando Aprendo, which publishes educational books for young children and develops workshops for teachers and parents. Her 46 titles promote active learning as opposed to traditional memorization. Gabriela’s experience has taught her that "Children learn more if you give them the space and the tools to learn for themselves. They have to experience what they are learning." The company sells to 270 schools throughout Guatemala.
Bpeace volunteers helped Gabriela improve her strategic plan, advised her through the process of winning the prestigious Cartier Women's Initiative Award and acquiring $20,000 in expansion capital, and provided guidance on exporting her products to schools in El Salvador. Bpeace is also matching her to U.S. Host Companies that will share their own best practices with her.
"My long-term goal is to have the majority of Guatemalan children using our products. To do so, we need a sales force to expand outside of the capital," says Gabriela. Reaching more rural areas, where most schools lack books, will be a challenge, but not Gabriela’s first. Bpeace will be consulting with her through December 2015.
2014 Business Council for Peace. All Rights Reserved.Bpeace is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization (EIN/tax ID number: 20-1602122).