BE Business Competition
Madagascar 2015: This post is part of a series of updates following the Madagascar mission team. Read more at fpco.org/madagascar.
Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. (Psalm 117:1-2 NIV)
After arriving at the Antananarivo, Madagascar airport and navigating customs and baggage claim, we made it the hotel after 3:30am. The good news…we didn’t have any traffic at that hour!
We were able to sleep in just a little, before heading out for our afternoon with the Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE) program. If you don’t know much about BE, this worldwide program teaches and mentors people to build Kingdom-focused businesses that honor God, solve community problems, and bring economic impact to the region.
Carol Hafer, our Director of Mission at First Pres, brought BE to Madagascar only a few years ago, but it has quickly grown roots and over 700 have gone through the program! Her efforts here are truly helping to shape and develop this country from within. You can see just how much the Malagasy people love Carol for the heart she has for them.
The BE leadership team took the time to tell us about themselves and how they’ve been impacted by BE in their lives, creating or extending their businesses, growing in their faith, and building up a new generation of Madagascar leaders. They wanted to specifically thank First Pres for their support and prayers as the “parent” of BE in this country.
After a fantastic lunch with the BE leadership team, the BE competition began (think Shark Tank)! Our team members, Carol and Ansley, got to participate as judges on the jury. They listened to the business plans of 5 BE graduates, and helped to narrow the field to 3. The ultimate winner of the competition will get the opportunity to come to the United States for the international competition.
We heard from 5 women creating or cultivating a wide variety of Madagascar businesses: gelato, woodworking, agriculture, rehabilitation. These were very well thought-out and complete business plans. The jury’s job of narrowing the competition is very tough!
The evening ended with music, food and fellowship. We spent time talking with the people here, listening to their experiences with BE, and praising the Lord for what He is doing in this nation.
Please pray for our time tomorrow as we prepare to spend a day at the Topaza Orphanage, playing games, singing songs, and bringing the love of Jesus to the 38 children here.