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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.