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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Business Council For Peace, Inc. (Bpeace)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Exchange, International Relief

Mission: The Business Council for Peace is the non-profit network of business professionals volunteers. We lift communities in need by working with local entrepreneurs to scale their businesses, create significant employment for all, and expand the economic power of women. More jobs mean less violence.®

Results: Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Afghan entrepreneurs who have been in the Business Council for Peace program for more than a year, average 34% job growth and 37% revenue growth. This is significantly better than the GDP growth in their countries. 44% of the entrepreneurs our U.S. and Canadian business volunteers assist, grew full-time jobs in El Salvador, Guatemala and Afghanistan by more than 20%. 76% of these entrepreneurs maintained or grew full-time jobs. 55% grew full-time employment for women.

Target demographics: motivated business owners increase employment and stabilty in their communities.

Direct beneficiaries per year: businesses in El Salvador, Guatemala and Afghanistan who aim to increase jobs an average of 15% a year.

Geographic areas served: El Salvador, Guatemala and Afghanistan

Programs: Pro-bono consulting performed virtually to help accelerate the growth of their businesses. Traveling Mentors to work side-by-side in the field to overcome barriers to growth. Exchange visits to U.S. Host Companies.

Community Stories

95 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Stacy81

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful experience working as a traveling mentor for bPeace was! It was tremendously fulfilling to coach and inspire these passionate entrepreneurs on new ways to build their businesses. At the same time, I learned so much from them and truly enjoyed every minute of our collaborations. I am enthusiastic about continuing to work with bPeace and the fastrunners who have become good friends.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bpeace has an amazing mission, a great team and an excellent model for helping to grow businesses that will employ more people (particularly women) in conflict areas around the globe, believing (rightfully) that increased employment can decrease conflict as well as enhance the lives of people. Having had the pleasure of working with entrepreneurs in Guatemala for Bpeace i experienced first hand the magic that Bpeace can create in areas of the globe where the have nots far outnumber the haves and people are in dire need of worthy employment to better their lives and build their self esteem.

Thank you Bpeace!

1 ciencisa

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just came back from Guatemala, where I worked with two women entrepreneurs to help them improve quality and efficiency for their productions. This is my second time being a traveling mentor with Bpeace. Bpeace is a great organization: First, they have a process to select the "Fast Runners", which is already good and keeps improving. Second, they put fantastic coordinators on the ground, who coordinate the project, coach the entrepreneurs, and help the traveling mentor navigate on the field. The result is a very fulfilling experience for the mentor and real results for the Fast Runners. Then , there is the personal relationships I build. I so L O V E working with these women: they are very motivated, they are really smart and it is great to get to know them by working closely with them. And I learn so much from them: about the local culture, the perils of running a business in a difficult environment, the history of their country. I look forward to my next time!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experiences with Bpeace have been only positive. I have enjoyed working both with their highly skilled and efficient staff as well as with the business they identify to work with. Wonderful people all over the world working together to help make areas of conflict better places for the people that live there. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of such a great organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was in El Salvador in February for a Traveling Mentor trip. I delivered a 1-day workshop, provided 2 days of consulting for two businesses, and had three other shorter-term work sessions with 3 other businesses. This was my second trip to El Salvador, and my fifth trip for Bpeace (the other three visits were to Guatemala). As always, I come back from these trips very jazzed. It would be hard to exceed the level of appreciation the Fast Runners overtly and consistently share. They do not have easy access to experts, both locally and certainly not internationally, so working with a traveling mentor is a unique experience for most of them -- one that few other programs offer. They are fully engaged in the work sessions, and they readily accept any assistance a Traveling Mentor has to offer.

As a Traveling Mentor, one gains valuable insights as well. I always learn more about the country's economy, culture, government, communities, and business challenges and opportunities. Though our touch points are not extensive, the Fast Runners are very warm and gracious hosts. You are given the VIP treatment from the start. In addition, our program staff has a very organized and professional approach during the entire process. They prepared me for the trip with lots of data regarding each of the businesses and the Fast Runners; they tracked the action items we developed with each Fast Runner; and they are managing the follow up with rigor.

I strongly recommend the Traveling Mentor experience, and I will certainly volunteer again.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with Bpeace as a volunteer for almost 4 years, and three of my family members have participated in their efforts as well. Enabling entrepreneurs in countries of conflict to create more jobs, especially for women, increases community capacity and stability -- and eliminates poverty and desperation that so often seeds violence. I have been so impressed with the way in which Bpeace operates efficiently with a laser focus on its mission. All of the entrepreneurs I have met and supported have impressive drive that has enabled them to succeed and truly benefit from the extra support, mentoring, and training Bpeace provides. I look forward to continued involvement in the years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Had a tremendous experience last week working for Bpeace in Guatemala. In what other world would you work with pork rinds in the morning and automotive repair in the afternoon? Everyone was warm and attentive, and the hospitality was incomparable in my experience working with companies around the world. The only reason that I rated the experience a 4 instead of 5 is that I think we could be more effective with a stronger follow-up mechanism. We covered a lot of ground in five days with two companies. A ton of analysis, training and recommendations. It's a huge information overload in a short time frame. Some guidance during the implementation phase would likely pay dividends for the clients involved (in addition to the two planned phone follow-ups). But all-in-all, a rewarding experience that I highly recommend.

Advisor

Rating: 5

My second traveling mentor experience with Bpeace was amazing! Not only do I have the opportunity to give back to aspiring entrepreneurs, but I also make friends for life!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bpeace delivers an amazing service to small businesses in high risk conflict countries like Guatemala and Afghanistan. Their mission to network seasoned business volunteers with entrepreneurs helps scale these targeted firms, creates significant employment for all, and expands the economic power of women around the globe. I feel fortunate to have found a volunteer opportunity through Bpeace with a business owner that is making a real difference in the primary school system in Guatemala!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The experience in doing pro-bono consulting for Bpeace to the country of Guatemala as a traveling mentor was mutually beneficial. Enjoyed meeting like-minded entrepreneurs who craved learning and planning in order to grow their business in the local economy and contribute to their community by creating jobs. This is my second year in volunteering and will certainly return for a third year!

1 Eric102

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

In November, I travelled to Guatemala City, to mentor a small technology integration company, Grupo Set, as they were transitioning from father to son, as a company ownership. It was a great experience and I was so impressed with the way BPeace handled the introductions, travel and the overall experience. I would recommend BPeace for anyone looking to do some Pro Bono work in another country.

1 Elisabeth L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My work with Bpeace has been an inspiration for launching my own consulting business helping people bring their product ideas to life. My trip to El Salvador made me realize how much I like being in this role. What a gift!

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Bpeace has been the best volunteering experience of my career. As a traveling mentor I got to work hands on with the people that benefit from Bpeace's work. It was extremely productive and rewarding!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is the second time I've traveled to El Salvador to conduct a workshop with Fast Runners and talk about how to create an engaged workforce in order to create a positive culture, drive profitable business growth and create more jobs. And similar to the last time I leave feeling as if I've received much more than I could have possibly contributed. How is that? These are individuals and businesses that remain positive and forward-looking even in the face of intractable poverty, corruption and violence. They are eager to learn and more importantly apply that learning. They are willing to be challenged about their current practices and open to considering different ways of approaching their challenges. Dahlia Carranza of In-House Printing is revising job roles and descriptions to make sure her employees not only know WHAT they are expected to do but also HOW she expects them to do it. Luis Arevalo of Speak is re-thinking organizational structure to address his changing business needs while more deliberately and effectively leveraging the skills of his employees. I could go on and on however I'll give a general shout out to ALL the Fast Runners with whom I was privileged to interact with at the workshop or spend time with at their place of business: your work matters, your passion and resilience are strengths and you have invigorated me and inspired me. Thank you.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

BPeace has been a great resource for my business to grow and chart a clear roadmap. The ideals within BPeace are clear from everyone inside the organization, everyone working with them and the rest of the Fastrunners. The people inside the organization truly love that they do and since what they do is help out organizations. I can without a doubt say they are a group of excellent people who love to help.

2 Renata M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am currently in the BPeace Program in El Salvador as a Fast Runner, I have a Bakery Tuco&Tico, which has been up and running for 5 years now. During Mark Flemming's visit we had a great meeting where he advised us on changes we could make to be able to grow. A month has gone by and we are begging to see great results based on the suggestions, staring with a huge step of opening a third store by the end of the year 2016! Thanks BPeace we are looking forward for the rest of the talks with the experts that we will receive during our program!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with Bpeace as a Fast Runner has been extraordinary. I have found people who are passionate and willing to go out of their way to help me and my business grow. I recently met with Angela Scalpello, a wonderful lady from whom I´ve learned a lot and has helped me see my business from a different perspective. I’m very grateful for all the support and can´t wait to implement all the ideas we´ve come up with.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We wanted to take a moment to express how grateful we are with Bpeace for their continuous support, guidance, inspiration, and education that they have afforded my company and myself.

We are a family run Guatemalan company that manufactures squeeze tubes for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. The introductions to qualified mentors and exchange of ideas have made a real difference in our lives and business. They have helped us determine the kind of company we want to be and the type of influence we want to have on Guatemala.

They recently sent us to Ohio to visit maufacturing plants. This trip was particularly significant for us. We had never expected to be received so warmly and enthusiastically and we came back from it inspired to continue to improve. The knowledge that these companies so generously shared with us, will not only help us grow as a business, but also proved that one can succeed without losing the core values that make up our foundation.

We face our future with optimism and confidence due in no small part to the inspiration they have provided, and we look forward to the next steps on our journey with Bpeace.

Yours gratefully,

Cristian & Walleska Castillo
CASMA, SA
Guatemala City, Guatemala

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently traveled to San Salvador to conduct a day long workshop with 30 Fast Runners focused on growing their businesses, specifically achieving sustainable profitable growth and creating more jobs. The remaining four days were spent meeting and consulting with individual Fast Runner companies. I was very impressed with the high energy levels and overall receptivity to the concepts and learnings from the workshop. I am confident that the Fast Runners will implement many of the strategies and actions we discussed. This experience far exceeded my expectations and gave me unequivocal evidence that Bpeace works!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Bpeace Member for a number of years, and am constantly impressed with both the mission and the organization behind it. The concept of supporting peace by helping to raise the standard of people who are trying to negotiate life in violence-torn regions is a worthy one. The fact that I can actually use my business skills to help positively impact the world is inspiring. And the Bpeace staff is both efficient and effective at helping to achieve this mission.

In the past I have helped via Skype, but I recently visited Guatemala to help consult with 20 small businesses with their branding issues. It was an enriching experience and I feel as if I got much more than I gave. The Fast Runners Bpeace had selected were passionate, hard-working entrepreneurs with much to offer.

I highly recommend Bpeace for anyone who would like to use their skills to help make a real impact.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I discovered BPeace thanks to a colleague and was immediately drawn to their mission and the fact I could use my professional skills to benefit others. Shortly after joining, I volunteered as a traveling mentor in Guatemala to coach 20 small companies in brand strategy.

My week there was a wonderful experience. The fast runners were all amazing entrepreneurs with so much drive and passion. It was highly rewarding to work with them both in a group workshop and through one-on-ones, and be able to have an impact and help them define their brand stories to grow their companies.

The organization and the projects are all very well run and everyone is lovely and so helpful. I highly recommend Bpeace to anyone who is looking to volunteer and help others in a meaningful and sustainable way.

2 Anne.Cramer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the great privilege of kicking off the 3rd Fast Runner cohort in El Salvador with a day-long workshop about business strategy, followed by 1-hour sessions with each of the 20 Fast Runners. It was a whirlwind of fascinating learning for me, given the vast diversity of industries represented. I was struck by how brave these entrepreneurs are - it's hard enough to be an entrepreneur with all the financial risks associated with such an endeavor, but to do so in a formerly conflict-ridden country is even more difficult.

The second week I got to spend 4 days doing a deep dive with one of the Guatemalan Fast Runners. Here I got to experience a much different reward in helping one woman delve into the challenges she faces with client satisfaction, employee engagement and growth.

I would highly recommend (and have already done so!) BPeace to friends and colleagues as a truly rewarding experience for everyone involved.

1 Jamie93

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Bpeace for the last four years and I cannot say enough good things about their work. If you are looking to make an impact, Bpeace is moving the needle on some of the most important issues of our time; the organization provides simple turnkey ways for volunteers to get involved and from a volunteer perspective you are able to see how your time and energy make a difference. I highly recommend this organization and will continue to work with them for years to come.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a very worthwhile experience for anyone who wants to help the world by improving the standard of living of developing countries. The Bpeace team, is excellent at arranging and organizing the work and my time meeting 20 companies in 1 week was well structured and very meaningful. Thank you for engaging me and keep us the great work