Honduras. Victor Vega is 30 years old, lives in Honduras, and has a successful business that he runs with is wife. But that wasn’t always the case.
A few years ago he and his wife started their small baking business. Unfortunately, he had to work another job in order to make sufficient money for the family. The income from the baking business just didn’t make ends meet. His new job didn’t fulfill his expectations, but it gave them enough to survive. Victor wanted to help his wife with their shared business, so he would work nights making cakes and breads after working his other day job. They spent three years following this schedule.
A the end of 2019, Victor and his wife finally decided to dedicate themselves completely to growing and improving their baking business. These are his words:
“I quit my job, and we start to use social media and other surveys to learn how we could better our business. In January, I received an email from Interweave Solutions inviting me to participate in their (MBS) course. This course was a great help, because it taught me how to keep records, how to budget, how to study my competition, and above all it taught me that I have to give my ALL to the business if I want it to grow. Today, our business help us to be self-reliant, and our income is even higher than it was when I was working two jobs!”
Although Victor and his wife’s baking business is small, his victory is not. A big congratulations to Victor and his wife for giving their all to growing their business and making it better! You are both proof that the MBS course changes lives.
Kenya. John Lutomia from Kenya prayed for 3 months to find a way to help his community before he found a Facebook ad promoting the Interweave Master of Business in the Streets program. He signed up for the course and fell in love with the curriculum. Wanting to do more, he continued his training to become a Success Ambassador (a facilitator or teacher of the MBS course to people in his local area). The Success Ambassador course requires that you facilitate and graduate a pilot group as a part of your training.
John Lutomia had at first invited 10 people, but he found out that about 30 people were wanting to come to the meeting. He decided to hold the meeting in a bigger venue so everyone could fit comfortably. To his surprise, on the opening day of his pilot group, 72 people showed up and attentively listened and participated.
The Master of Business in the Streets course doesn’t just change one life, our business model allows it to have an exponential growth and positively affect the lives of hundreds, even thousands.
Congratulations, John! May you continue blessing, serving and changing your community through this program!
Mali. Co-founder of Interweave Solutions, Lynn Curtis, recently had the privilege of traveling to the great country of Mali. Upon his return, he had so many wonderful stories to share about the wonderful people he met and the experiences he was able to share with them. There were over 5 villages represented during the course trainings, reliance groups were started, a women’s association developed, and over 20 participants graduated from the MBS program.More
Haiti. “My name is Emmanuel Paul. I am from a rural region of Haiti. I completed my studies in Food Science and Technology in 2016. I co-founded a corporation in 2016 that works with farmers and rural women on agro-entrepreneurship and agro-processing to create added value on farms in northern Haiti. I discovered a Facebook posting describing the “Master in the Street” course in October 2019, and I quickly grasped the opportunity.
Nigeria. “My name is Mercy. I am Nigerian, a mother of four and a business owner. I was introduced to Interweave Solutions by a Success Ambassador Mr. Yusuf. Prior to the time I was very sad on how I spend so much without being able to account for it. My business was not flourishing and
had to close down business because it was not providing as much as I wanted. I was thinking on how to make my business work, be able to spend wisely and save money for the things I wanted to do. I found myself needing professional help. It was at this point that Mr Yusuf told me about Interweave Solutions. I visited the website and jumped at it.
Mexico. “In one of our literacy self-reliance groups in Chiapas, Mexico, there lives a woman named Maria. She is sixty years old but eagerly started attending the group because it has been her dream to learn how to read and write. Even though she just started attending the group only a few weeks ago, she now knows how to write her name, the vowels, and is diligently learning the rest of the letters in the alphabet. She says that finally learning to read and write has brought her more joy than she knew was possible.”More
Colombia. Shortly after our conference in Ecuador last spring, Nelson Triana landed a contract with his local government, authorizing him to teach the MBS course in schools as part of their business curriculum. After presenting the program and modeling the teaching style, he was offered positions in 3 different schools, teaching 5 different courses. This work has been so successful and kept him so busy that he’s had to turn down other schools that want the MBS materials taught in their business departments.
Not only do the students learn the principles of business and the different areas of life that need attention, but they are given opportunity to put these principles in action. The photos above show one of the school groups recent community improvement projects. They visited a home for elderly community members and provided services such as hand massages and manicures as well as friendly interaction and activities.
We are thrilled to see the MBS program impact not only those taking the course, but brightening the lives of their families, friends and community members alike.
Nigeria. Peace struggled to find a job in her local area for a long time. She finally decided to start a business as a hairdresser, but when her shop started to fail financially, and she became depressed. Peace was incredibly discouraged at the life she had been handed. But one day, her dear friend invited her to take the Master of Business in the Streets self-reliance course. Within weeks, Peace was able to learn principles to apply to her hair salon to improve the state of her business. At the end of the course a few months later, Peace was empowered with knowledge and was able to make her salon self-sustaining. Because of her great success in her salon, she decided to start a second business doing laundry, which she saw as a need in her community.
This business is also flourishing. She has since hired several employees and is successfully managing the two businesses. She tearfully admitted that she can’t even believe she is the same woman that she was before.More
Lome, Togo. After receiving his Success Ambassador certification only a few months ago, Azedzi Ganyo worked hard to gather his friends and colleagues, tell them how the MBS program had impacted his life, and invite them to have a similar experience by joining his new MBS group. Some people came, and some even brought their friends, until Azedzi found himself with a group of 15 dedicated learners, who have since completed the MBS program and improved their quality of life.
Azedzi said the program had a good impact in the life of each participant, but most notably he shared a few specific experiences that were highlighted in the graduation ceremony last week.
One of his participants had been working as the manager of a relative’s business, but found it difficult to have the time and resources to take care of his own family. As he learned about the Quality of Life wheel, he realized that all aspects of his life were interrelated and that he had the power to control all of them. So he shared the things he was learning with his wife and they started building a new plan. They opened a business selling eggs and have concrete plans to turn it into a bigger poultry farm, which will allow the time and income to be successful in business, home and community.
Another man said that he had taken entrepreneurship courses before, but had never heard anything so simple and practical as the 6Ps of business that the MBS course taught. He also shared his findings with his wife and together, they started keeping records and have plans to start up a new business.
Watching and helping so many people improve their businesses, their families and their communities is inspiring. Azedzi said, “As a Success Ambassador, I get a great feeling; I do not know how to express it. My emotion was so high when they bear these testimonies. I have been able to change those persons lives through the MBS program; we were with them always, made follow-up, and helped them in their challenges. I think I will do more with others.”
He and his partners are pleased with the success they have seen, but they are not satisfied. They continue working to help these people maintain the self-reliance they have found. “At the end, I see that they became all very responsible. They wanted to do something better. For that reason, we are about to sign some partnership with some Microfinance Institution so that it can sponsor them for the realization of their projects.”
At Interweave, our mission is to strengthen the businesses, homes and communities of those who take our courses, improving the overall quality of life, and we seek to make positive changes permanent. This group in Togo exemplifies these values and we are so excited to continue watching them grow.
Haiti. Like many Ambassadors, when Jean Godenson came in contact with Interweave Solutions, he had no idea how it would impact his life. He was working in North Sudan and traveling back to Haiti every few months to visit his wife and young son. As he searched for work opportunities for an educated Haitian, he came across Interweave at a freelancing job site, looking for help translating some materials into French Creole. As he worked on translating the materials, Jean realized there might be more for him and the people in Haiti. He said “We did the work and I loved the materials and asked how I could get involved. Here I am today as the first Interweave Success Ambassador in Haiti. What a beautiful and exciting journey!”
After going through the MBS course and the Success Ambassador course for himself, Jean became Interweave’s only Success Ambassador in the Caribbean. “Becoming a success Ambassador is an answer to my prayers asking God to connect me with like-minded people and an organization in Haiti to help move people from poverty to self reliance and prosperity. I am excited for the opportunity to share vividly something that will change lives for the better. It did make a huge impact on mine, and it is still improving, as I practice the godly principles in those trainings.”
Jean is currently facilitating a group of 40 youth who will graduate in December.
Utah. The old saying goes, “Many hands make light work”, and our partnership with Eagle Condor has helped us in this since we began working with them back in 2012.
Eagle Condor is an NGO that aims to eradicate poverty in South America. Using four Pillars of Self-Reliance– Education, Health, Infrastructure, and Career Development– they help people gain and retain the abilities to support themselves, their families, and their communities.
Because their mission compliments our own, we have partnered with them to use Interweave’s own Masters of Business in the Streets material. Using our curriculum, Eagle Condor has graduated hundreds of people from their program in Peru. We love seeing how other NGOs can use our material to bring about our mission: building self-reliance.
At the recent United Nations Conference in Salt Lake City, we were lucky to be able to meet representatives of Eagle Condor Peru in person, and present to them their Success Ambassador Certificates in recognition of their completion of the MBS and Success Ambassador courses. We are thrilled to make this progress with Eagle Condor and continue to work with them to promote self-reliance everywhere!
Benin. After many hours of planning and preparation, we were finally blessed to gather as an Interweave family in the beautiful nation of Benin, to receive training and strengthen relationships between Success Ambassadors from all over Africa. We had representation from Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Liberia, for a total of 45 Ambassadors plus members of the Interweave Board and Donors from the United States.
The conference lasted from Thursday to Saturday and included activities such as get-to-know-you games and icebreakers, trainings, meals, talent shows and local MBS graduations. Ambassadors have consistently reported that their favorite thing about the conference was the opportunity to interact with people from so many different places and learn from their cultures and perspectives. One Ambassador said “Attending this conference helped me first to strengthen my understanding of the methodology of teaching. Second, I’ve learned from others experiences, namely Mr. Exodus from Nigeria, Mr. Franky from Cameroon, and Mr. Kazotti from Benin. Finally it helped me take my first action as a Success Ambassador of Burkina Faso. In fact during my stay in hotel, I’ve been working on my Action Plan, now I know how to start, where to start, with whom to start, and when to start.”
We are so excited to see the immediate impact this conference made on so many lives and hope it will be a source of strength to them as they strive to build self-reliance in their respective areas.
Colombia. Success Ambassador Darío Sanchez noticed an opportunity when he heard about the “Cedezos” program sponsored by the city government. This program supports the development of business and entrepreneurship in local areas by setting up training centers in each community in the city. Darío knew this would be a perfect place to implement the MBS program, so he presented the idea to the Cedezo in his neighborhood and explained to them the difference between Interweave’s training and other programs they might have tried in the past.
Darío reports that the municipality reached out to him this week and suggested they expand the reach of the MBS training course by implementing the program in every community within the city limits. With this success, Dario will be able to reach hundreds of people and share with them the principles that have helped him and so many others to become self-reliant.
Togo. There are over 360,000 orphans in Togo, due to many health and economic conditions. One MBS group in Togo recognized the need of these children and decided to build their community service project around them. They arrived at the orphanage and assisted in cleaning and organizing the home, as well as provided food and supplies to the children.
At Interweave Solutions, we know that success comes not only from pulling ourselves out of poverty, but helping others along the way. As one MBS graduate said, “The MBS is no good if you keep it to yourself. I want to share it and make a bigger impact. It’s about giving back in life and not limit it to only yourself.”
Honduras. Ambassador Jonathan Rodriguez led his youth group in a community service project, cleaning and cultivating a municipal nursery in his community. Many students participated and shared their thoughts about the project as well as the MBS program. One of the students commented that through community service, students and future professionals like them reflect a positive image to society. “Community service is very important, it’s good for people.” He explained how much he had learned through his MBS studies, especially about the Quality of Life Plan and the importance of saving regularly, which he had never considered before.
Another student expressed her gratitude to everyone who made it possible for the MBS program to reach them. “Our country is a country of scarce economic resources and that is why we are here in a public school but the fact that we are in a public school allows us to participate in a program like this and I know that someday we will be successful people thanks to the support they gave us.”
Her friend added, “I hope it’s not just here in our country but in different countries around the world so that other young people can learn about this training because it helps each one of us so much.”
Quito, Ecuador. Don Luis cleans and shines shoes on the street, making between 7-8 dollars a day. For many years, he has used a good portion of this money to satisfy his alcohol addiction. However, as he recently began taking the MBS course offered to him by a fellow street vendor, he realized the importance of saving money and has significantly reduced his alcohol consumption. Not only does he have more money to invest in his business and meet his personal needs, but this change of lifestyle has played a role in improving his home life and family relationships.