Lagos, Nigeria. Victoria is married to a Success Ambassador. She watched her husband facilitate self-reliance groups and she was a witness to the success he had in helping people start and grow their businesses. She was never opposed to the program, but she “never took it seriously” either; she just didn’t feel any connection. Then, after some complications in her own business, she found herself in financial crisis. She reached out to a local micro-finance bank, hoping to receive enough funding to save her business and help provide for her family. But when the bank asked for a copy of her cashflow statement, she had nothing to show. She knew this was something her husband taught regularly in his MBS courses, so she sought his assistance.
“[He] drew my attention to the benefits of the MBS program once again. Immediately the class started… and I quickly keyed into it. I must state that the past two months have been very amazing. Now I can be able to monitor the progress of my business, I understand how to plan and actualize my budget. I now know how to calculate my income and expense log and also to produce a cash flow analysis. The 6P’s have given me a simplistic insight on how to produce a business plan without the much ado.”
Victoria continues, “My quality of life has greatly improved. In fact, not a day passes by without my calling extended and immediate family to check on how they are doing. This Interweave experience has helped me impact positively on my home, and my business now has a very great record and is progressing.”
She thanks her husband and Success Ambassador for “his fervent desire to ensure that all who come in contact with him succeed” and explains that she “gained additional ideas during the trainings as if God were just sending them to [her] through him.”
We love to see that the MBS program not only helps people improve their business when they need it most, but that it provides opportunity to strengthen important relationships and inspires them to grow in all areas of life. This is true success.
Nigeria. Yusuf Bala received a degree in Business Administration from Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, but had never been able to make ends meet. He says he had always been dependent on his brothers, but he wanted to provide for himself. He came across the MBS program and it looked like it could be the answer, but he worried because course was introduced in Nigeria through a notable Christian pastor and Yusuf was Muslim.
After attending a few of the initial classes, members of Yusuf’s family found out that he was associated with this Christian group and thought it was an indication that he had been converted from their traditional Islam faith. Yusuf says, “When my eldest brother got to know about it… he was furious and told me to stop going. I told the brother who introduced me to Interweave… that I won’t be able to end the course with all of them. He was furious and went mad by telling me ‘Your destiny is in your hands, so you have a choice to decide.’ After missing two classes, I thought about the whole scenario and summoned the courage to attend class regularly.”
Yusuf reflects on the life-changing improvements he’s been able to make in his business and in his everyday life, due to the training of the MBS course. Most notably, he is thankful for the additional knowledge he gained regarding the 6Ps of business, keeping an income and expense log, cash flow projections and simply saving money daily. He says each of these principles is “a vital aspect that had broadened [his] knowledge on achieving in business.”
Yusuf graduated from the MBS course in June 2019, alongside his Christian friend who introduced him to the course. He is now “gainfully employed with the establishment of [his] own Cassava farm” and within the next few months is expecting to make significant profit with his first harvest. He reflects, “I am enjoying every bit of my new venture because I can see prosperous future in my new calling as a farmer, and the same brother of mine had been a pillar of encouragement since he saw the manual of the course and its contents.”
Thanks to supportive family, friends and Interweave team and a courageous personal decision, Yusuf was able to overcome difficult circumstances and reach outside his comfort zone in order to improve his home, business and community.
***Note: Interweave Solutions is not affiliated with nor do we promote any specific religious or political group.
Colombia. Two important values at Interweave Solutions are “always improving” and “mutual respect for all.” These two principles have taken on meaning as we’ve worked to weave them together through the MBS Jr. Program. Although the curriculum itself will not be released until later this year, we are excited to share the progress of a pilot group of youth this past month.
Mauricio Gomez, Success Ambassador in Colombia, facilitated a group of 42 youth ages 9-18 and said it was a very special experience. He is passionate about the idea of MBS Jr. because he has seen the high levels of unemployment among youth in Latin America and has noticed that the few who can find jobs are often exploited by their employees because they don’t have enough experience. He believes that between 15-24 years old is the ideal time to become an entrepreneur because “they aren’t afraid of it, they don’t have as many family obligations and they are willing to learn and adapt as necessary.”
Mauricio also had the privilege of training his own daughter in the MBS course.
“It was very special for me to be able to convey to Melisa the message that she is in charge of her own life. She doesn’t need to depend on a job to support herself when she is an adult, but she has a choice and if she wants to be employed, it is because she decided that for herself and not because it is the only option she knows.
“I believe that one of the most important skills that a young person should acquire is to learn to “sell”, either as a person, as a business or as an idea, so it made me very happy to see her [gain] the basic knowledge necessary to choose what she really wants to do with her life. It also made me feel very proud to see her graduate from a program I believe in so much. That is so special to me.”
We are thrilled about the progress and excitement of our team for the MBS Jr. curriculum to be released in the near future!
Mali. Co-founder and Executive Director, Lynn Curtis, returned recently from a successful trip to Mali, where he trained a group of 26 native Malians in the MBS program. They have all submitted their paperwork and have been approved to receive their MBS certificates later in July. These humble and hardworking entrepreneurs worked for three days straight in temperatures reaching 107° F to receive the training necessary and complete their business, home and community plans.
Eight of these participants stayed to learn how to facilitate these same materials among their family and friends. Although working via the internet is nearly impossible, they are excited and willing to do what it takes to become Success Ambassadors and share what they’ve learned with their families and friends. In this extra training, they taught each other the principles they had learned and even got to practice facilitating a make-shift group of MBS participants, including a community celebrity.
Lynn said, “The father of one of the trainees is a very famous former mayor and happened to show up at just the right moment. We persuaded him to be a sample participant. He arrived in full ceremonial dress and all the trainees were starstruck and nervous to facilitate a group with such a bigshot in it. But they rose to the occasion and everyone had such a good experience learning and laughing together. I was really proud of our potential success ambassadors.”
He continues by explaining the intimate welcome he received into the family compound when his travel plans fell through. We are inspired by the humble conditions and hearty generosity of our Interweave family in Mali.
“Last night we had a complicated mix-up with my hotel and transportation, and the group insisted we stay in the family compound (close to the training site) of the local guy who helped organize the training. The finest they had to offer was so humble and shared with so many extended family members. It was camping out with lots of strangers and humbly reminded me of all the daily life luxuries (running water, a bed, privacy, a fan in extreme heat) that I take for granted.”
Togo. A couple months ago we shared some pictures of the MBS group in Togo. Since that inicial push, we have seen incredible progress throughout Togo and just recently certified 7 more Success Ambassadors in the country! We are excited, both with the quantitative growth as well as the quality of dedicated and hardworking Success Ambassadors joining our international team! Here are some reasons why these great people wanted to become Success Ambassadors:
“The reason that I want to be a Success Ambassador is because I want to be an example of success and help those who are around me get training. My favorite part about the MBS course was how it taught you to make a report for your expenses. I now have a very clear idea about my financial situation. I also helped my wife in her small cooking business as she decided what products to choose and I taught her about the 6P’s. Now she and I are both happy and successful.”
“It was a challenge for me to take the MBS course and try to acheive self-reliance. For that reason, I want to become a Success Ambassador, to challenge myself to remain self-reliant and to teach and challenge others to do the same. My favorite part of the mBS course was that I learned how to make a report of my expenses. I know now how to use my money more wisely.”
Ecuador. Last week members of our team gathered with Success Ambassadors from around the world for the second annual Interweave Convention. There were about 30 Success Ambassadors representing Colombia, Chile, Turkey, Ecuador and the Unites States. Through bonding activities and training workshops, Interweave partners were able to grow together and really come to appreciate each others’ efforts and sacrifices.
“We really grew to feel like a family. We played games together, learned together, ate together, cried together. We supported one another… [and] heard inspirational testimonies of how the MBS has affected lives.” – Audrey Burton, Director of Operations
“What we have here is an incredibly beneficial cause for human beings. We have created a beautiful monster that is going to change the world.” – Mao Gomez, Success Ambassador
“I am amazed. Honestly, I have been reminded this week that we must strive for success, without limits.” – Gisele, Special Guest
Lomé, Togo. Success Ambassadors in Benin have been training a man in the MBS course from the neighboring country of Togo. Now this participant has become a Success Ambassador himself and has started his own group. Here are some photos of the first MBS group in Togo!
Togo. Success Ambassadors in Benin have been training a man in the MBS course from the neighboring country of Togo. Now this participant has become a Success Ambassador himself and has started his own group. Here are some photos of the first MBS group in Togo!More
Ecuador. Hernan is 74 years old and he is an MBS student in Ecuador. He had never before used a computer but through the patient mentorship of his Success Ambassador, he has learned basic technology skills. His Ambassador reports that Hernan “is making a great effort to advance in the Success Platform. He is motivated and we support him so that he can advance his progress. Hernan is an example for us all!”
Hernan is one of many around the world who are learning to use this new program management system. At the beginning of 2019, we released this Success Platform to help us keep track of MBS groups and records in so many countries. As an organization we are always trying to improve, and even here in the central office we can improve our self-reliance. In the last two months we’ve had almost 20 groups registered, and continue to see more progress every day. We continue to encourage Ambassadors everywhere to register their groups online so we can see our progress as an International Family.
Ecuador. “My name is Gueisel and I am 40 years old. My story begins when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and it brought a lot of sadness. Because of this trial, however, I began to sell desserts and empanadas y it turned out to be very successful. I sold 400 empanadas in two days. I never expected to sell so much and that’s when I decided to create my own business.
“My friend Rocio invited me to take a course that would help me improve my business; it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. They taught me how to have a successful business. It was unforgettable and I learned that nothing could defeat me, not even the fear of moving forward. I made friends with the same abilities and capacities that I had. I am grateful for the MBS program for giving me this amazing experience.”
Uganda. Margaret Nelson is a retired RN from Washington State. Throughout her career she gained experience in clinical and community health, working with refugees and low-income populations. These experiences prepared her to move to Africa after her retirement, where she served on short-term mission trips and worked in local health clinics. She decided she wanted to do more so she settled down in a small village in Uganda, started building herself a house and developing plans to make a difference in the lives of the people she was getting to know. She worked with a few different NGOs, including a few that she started on her own, but never found the success she was seeking.
After coming across Interweave’s MBS program, she decided that partnering her NGO with Interweave would help her make a real difference. She is currently taking the MBS course for herself while simultaneously facilitating a small group consisting of local church members. We love seeing people make their dreams a reality through Interweave’s programs!
Cameroon. We are so excited about the progress we’ve made around the world and want to share some photos of one of our recent Success Ambassador graduations. Merlin Saha graduated as a Success Ambassador, but due to his remote location, we held his graduation ceremony via an online video conference. It was a great experience to remind us that there are no limitations or restrictions to the success of an individual. We adapt to the situations we are handed and when we do so we can achieve great things! Good work Merlin!More
Ecuador. In every meeting at Interweave Solutions, we recite the “7 values”, which are crucial if we are to uphold our mission. The first of these values is one of the most important: Mutual Respect for All.
One Success Ambassador in Ecuador shows that she is willing to go out of her way to make sure everyone has an equal chance to benefit from the MBS program. As she started teaching the class, Ambassador Chio Zuñiga came in contact with the yard worker of one of her students. His name was Patricio. Because Chio is so passionate about the work she does with Interweave, she invited him to participate in her class. When he arrived, she noticed he was very quiet and to some degree seemed to have a learning disability. He didn’t know how to read, but carried an enthusiasm that ran deeper than his disadvantage.
Chio has always worked hard to make everyone feel included in her groups, but Patricio was a unique case. It was difficult for him to understand all of the business concepts, but Chio found that if she stayed after class to explain the ideas in a simpler way, he would give thoughtful answers and could commit to action steps. For example, numbers and records can get complicated, but the principles of spending less than you earn and not stealing from your business are much easier to visualize. Chio said “he understands the concepts when he feels our genuine concern.”
Thanks to the support of a caring Success Ambassador as well as that of his peers, Patricio now has a name and logo for his car repair business and his group is working on helping him strengthen his social media presence. “It’s just the result of loving what we do in this program,” Chio commented. We hope that everywhere Interweave is present, the world can clearly see the value of the individual and the potential we each have when treated as equals and given opportunity, despite our differences.
Uganda. Ruth is an example of the success that can come from applying the principles of the MBS program, no matter where you are in the world. She has seen the 6P’s of business improve and grow her chicken business in many ways. Like all entrepreneurs, she started small, but now her business regularly houses over 2000 chickens and is constantly growing. Ruth shared with us how two specific principles she learned from the MBS program have helped her improve her business.
- Paperwork: Keeping records is one of the important principles learned in the MBS course. Ruth says that as her business grows, she is careful to stay up-to-date with her income and expense logs. Because they have been so successful, they were able to help support a local friend through school. She graduated in accounting and is now working full-time keeping these financial records for Ruth.
- Product: When talking about what sets her business apart from her competition, Ruth says “the quality of our products is our number one promotion highlight. Whoever buys from us can’t go anywhere else.” Evidently, Ruth is aware of her customers and her competition and because of that, she has been able to create a product that exceeds expectation.
Beyond the success of the business itself, Ruth and her team have been acting as mentors to a local church youth group, seeking to establish their own chicken business. They have offered support, partnership, and training as these young entrepreneurs financed and learned how to use new tools and products to create a successful business. With such encouragement, they are now ready to start making money.
They have not been without challenges and setbacks, but by maintaining their vision and working hard to overcome difficulty, Ruth and her family have been successful in moving towards prosperity and self-reliance.
Cameroon. In June of last year, we posted on this blog about our newest Success Ambassador, Francky Adjomo, from Cameroon. In the last 7 months he’s been working hard to strengthen his MBS business and this month it finally paid off and he celebrated the graduation of his first self-reliance group! We are so excited to see him making such a difference in his community in Cameroon! Best of luck to Francky as he continues finding and training participants in the Masters of Business Program!More
Benin. Jean Ahowekoun and Charles Nouatin are our two newest Success Ambassadors in Benin! They were both certified as Success Ambassadors within the last few months and are already seeing progress in the groups they have started. They are working especially with a group of women, some of which don’t even have basic reading skills, but they report that the women are eager to learn and improve their lives!
They started a second group in the last couple weeks, training students at a local university. They just had their first meeting and are excited to work with these young entrepreneurs as well! Charles explains that “it [is] a pleasure to help our community.”
Portugal. For a long time, Interweave Solutions has been focusing our efforts in many parts of Latin America and Africa, and we hadn’t seen as much growth in Europe and North America. However, we recently received a report from our Success Ambassador in Portugal with some fantastic updates about her progress there! Here is some of her exciting news!
- She has recently started a pilot MBS group in a poor area outside of Lisbon. These will be some of the first MBS graduates we have in Europe and will be key to growing the MBS program there.
- She is in communication with the director of the community center in that area about the possibility of facilitating more training through their institution.
- She is working hand in hand with a friend to train 3 new people across the globe in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (more then 5,000 miles from her home). All three of them are directors of schools or institutions that could implement the program among their students in the future.
We are so excited to see the growth of Interweave throughout the world and to see the way it connects people of different backgrounds and cultures!