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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 nonprofit coalition of Skillanthropists. 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 job and revenue growth better than the GDP growth in their countries.

Target demographics: High potential entrepreneurs increase employment and stabilty in their communities.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Businesses in El Salvador, Guatemala and Afghanistan who aim to increase jobs and increase economic opportunity in their communities.

Geographic areas served: El Salvador, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Lebanon.

Programs: Bpeace Skillanthrophy: Through long-distance mentoring or in-country visits, business volunteers and U.S. Host Companies share their expertise in HR, finance, strategy, marketing and manufacturing, and provide technical advice for industries ranging from food processing to technology, to professional services.

Community Stories

111 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

athenak

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My life got bigger and more fulfilling the day I became a volunteer with Bpeace. In 2005 when I joined Bpeace I stepped into a community of smart, organized and committed women and men who are all about empowering women. A new world opened up to me when I took my first trip to Afghanistan to provide marketing and strategy skills to business women there. Since then I've had the privilege of serving in many roles in the organization. I'm currently a member of the team that is designing and implementing the mentoring program in Lebanon where we are working with Syrian and Lebanese university students. 20 Bpeace mentors are sharing their practical experience and hard-earned wisdom with 18 young women who are learning how to realize their dreams. My husband and I are co-mentoring a bright young Syrian woman. It is deeply fulfilling to guide and encourage her as she gets clear about her goals and takes steps to achieve them. Speaking with her is a delight and gives us hope for the future of Syria. Bpeace makes it easy and fun to use my skills to make a difference. The combination of meaningful projects with a super-organized team creates an experience that both stretches me and satisfies my need to make a contribution to others. Thank you Bpeace!

Nat L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experience with BPeace has been great and continues to be. My trip to Guatemala was an excellent opportunity to get to know both the country and it's people but also a chance to make a difference in someone else's life. My entrepreneur was vibrant, smart and really wants to make a difference for her customers that she serves. She took care to make sure that I was safe, well fed and made sure that I saw and understood her country. I had the opportunity to meet her parents and sister in addition to working hard at improving her business. Her family made me feel like I was part of their family. It was very rewarding and we continue to have a relationship after the trip. Stephany and Marcela from BPeace made sure that all of the plans were put in place and any needed arrangements were taken care of.
I would recommend this opportunity to anyone who has talents that they can share with others, you will find it to be very rewarding.

2 Louis Dries

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just completed a 7 day mission in Guatemala. The goal for my assigned project was to help a small local chemical company optimize their supply chain with an emphasis on inventory optimization to free up precious cash. The people were willing to share how things are really going at work and in Guatemala and generally were very receptive to the recommendations,
It was a pleasure to work with so many intelligent, hard working people who amazed me with their positive attitude. Very satisfying to share a life time of work experience with the next generation.

JoeHowse

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I previously reviewed Bpeace in 2014 and I have continued to have a great experience volunteering with them since then.

Through Bpeace, I have had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador (May 2014) and Guatemala (July 2018) to provide consulting to two different software companies. The work and the people have been great. Bpeace and the client companies are very professionally managed, welcoming, and open to new ideas and opportunities. Bpeace and the clients have a genuine commitment to creating jobs and developing employees' skills.

I have also enjoyed volunteering as an online mentor in Bpeace's new program for female university students in Lebanon.

Bpeace really excels in putting volunteers' specialized skills to good use and in making the right matches between volunteers and clients/mentees. I highly recommend this organization.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Bpeace and their client has been one of the best experiences of my career. In 2013, Bpeace matched me with a Salvadoran company who needed a consultant to train their software engineers in my area of specialization. Like most of the matches Bpeace makes, it was a very specific requirement but Bpeace helped the client and I find each other very quickly. Bpeace supported the client's decision to work with me (a Canadian rather than a U.S. candidate) even though this introduced some complications in funding the project.

During my site visit to El Salvador in 2014, Bpeace's local staff and the client made sure that I had everything I needed for my work and comfort, that I stayed safe, and that I felt welcome. The Bpeace staff were involved in some of my meetings with the client, and were very knowledgeable about the client's project and industry.

I was very privileged to find a hard-working and like-minded group of people in El Salvador. I know we will have a lasting connection, and I hope to participate in more projects like this through Bpeace.

Tim T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with entrepreneurs in Guatemala is a most rewarding experience. Eager to grow their businesses and their employee base, Guatemalans are most appreciative of all the new ideas and help they can get. Best of all, they act on these ideas and grow their businesses. It doesn't get any more rewarding than seeing the impact you can have on a company and a people so anxious to better their situation. Bpeace and its programs are a big WOW!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experiences to date with BPeace have been exceptional. They provide a channel to utilize your skills and expertise to help others and, hopefully, make the world a better place. It's a wonderful experience to give back. The Fast Runners I worked with were smart, eager, appreciative and full of potential. I plan to work more with them in the future!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have made several trips to Guatamala and El Salvador with Bpeace to mentor FastRunners and/or run workshop training sessions. Every visit I come back refreshed and positive about Bpeace's impact on the lives of these entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and economic opportunities, especially for women and their families. Bpeace's focus on metrics measuring the revenue growth and jobs created, clearly shows the economic impact of the pro-bono consulting and mentoring activities. More Jobs Means Less Violence! Bravo Bpeace, keep up the good work and I can't wait for my next trip to meet and work with another FastRunner and their company.

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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!

1 Anne.Cramer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My third Traveling Mentor trip with BPeace was really great. I spent one week with Lina, helping her with growth ideas for her industrial printing business. A little process work, a little cost accounting, and a LOT of customer experience improvements will help her make a leap towards business maturity and hopefully lots of growth! BPeace continues to be my non-profit soul mate.

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2

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 Justin Harlow

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently returned from my second trip with Bpeace to Guatemala City (third trip overall). I went down to Guatemala to run an innovation popup lab for their current FastRunner cohort and the broader local community.

The trip was beautifully orchestrated by Stephany, the local Bpeace manager and Alex in New York. It really enabled me to focus on working with the FastRunners to solve their challenges without having to worry about the logistical issues that these trips can sometimes face.

I fully support Bpeace's mission of empowering local entrepreneurs in conflict zones and can't speak highly enough of the work they do so well. Toni Maloney, the Founder of Bpeace is also a class act.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experience with BPeace was priceless. The people and county of Guatemala has gotten into my soul. Meeting all the different entrepreneurs , getting to know them and opening up our vulnerabilities created friends for life. We are all one people, struggling for the same things and experiencing the same triumphs and challenges . The more we travel and more we can equalize the world and become better, richer human beings, which in turn changes the whole world. BPeace organized everything, making me feel useful and welcomed everywhere I went. Stephany makes you feel like you are visiting and old friend. There is no learning curve . Take a chance, jump in and change your life forever.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Working with BPeace in El Salvador was a match made in heaven. I was born and raised in El Salvador, so I have always dreamed of going back to help in a tangible way. BPeace enabled my dream by pairing me up with an energetic up-and-coming entrepreneur that tapped precisely into my expertise (strategy, branding, marketing, particularly for Latin America). Why it worked so well ... 1) BPeace took the time we needed to find the right fit and the best timing for both of us, 2) they provided guidance and structure, but were very open to adapting based on my expertise and background, 3) they allowed me the necessary time to get to know my client and understand the situation virtually, before spending a week with them in El Salvador and, last but not least, 4) I was able to team up with their country manager, as needed, to bring in an objective local and BPeace perspective. Highly recommend it, and even more, if you speak Spanish or Spanglish ...

rtmac505

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of assisting a local manufacturing company in El Salvador with establishing much needed sales processes and inventory control, as well as with assisting with manufacturing process mapping and improvement. The company was successful but was leaking profits at various points in their manufacturing and sales processes. They were open to suggestions and eager to implement change. They experienced a reduction in lost revenue within the first few months if implementing the new processes. BPeace and the client were wonderful to work with, and I certainly look forward to additional projects. Thank you Bpeace for selecting great clients and for providing a solid backbone and structure for working with the clients.

2 Francisco R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We've been Bpeace Fast Runners for the last 18 months and the program has given us the opportunity to take advice from world class experts in fundamental topics related with the growth of our business.

The program has a very efficient method to detect weak points across all areas of the company and prioritize the most urgent ones, then you can work in depth on the topic with an expert that visits de company to do one on one intensive coaching sessions with the company's leaders and design an action plan.

Bpeace has given us a priceless opportunity to reach knowledge that otherwise would be impossible to have.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A lot of people recommended me Bpeace and when we applied i had a lot of skepticism if they would understand our needs as a small emerging Salvadoran company.

I just took a few minutes on knowing the Bpeace team that I knew these following 18months were going to be amazing. The whole team / experts/ board members are so committed to the program that you instantly begin growing as a company after a few sessions.

Bpeace has help us validate many of our decisions and has provided amazing advice on decisions for the future. Since we started with Bpeace we have grown in employees and are more future oriented company than we were a few months ago.

The last month of the program Bpeace organized the most amazing new york business trip were top digital companies like ours open their doors to us and showed us how they work, their processes and advice us on how we could become a better company.

I can't even express how grateful i'm with bpeace and I can't even begin to quantify the amount of knowledge we got in the last months!

Thank you so much everyone!

Javier Guerrero

PVarkony

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My life's work has been the empowerment of other women. Although I worked internationally I had no experience in post-conflict countries. My former congressman who was involved in creating the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, invited me to a meeting in Washington, where I met Bpeace founder, Toni Maloney. Six months later I was on the ground in Afghanistan as a Bpeace volunteer. For whatever impact I may have had on the Afghan "Fast Runners" of Bpeace, it could not have been more profound than the impact they and Bpeace have had on me. The organized, structured, no-nonsense approach Bpeace takes to building capacity, creating jobs, and truly empowering women within thier own culture makes Bpeace a stand-out in the NGO commuity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bpeace is a significant part of my identity. Through Bpeace I have had the opportunity to share my professional expertise with entrepreneurs from Afghanistan, Rwanda, Guatemala, and El Salvador. For me, the unexpected consequence of these interactions is the impact they have had on my own professional development. My work with Bpeace is truly a two -way give. I learn from the entrepreneurs and they learn from me. Their unique cultural approach, in my case to verbal communications, has expanded my understanding of communications is this rapidly global world we live in.

2 srprince

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found BPeace while searching for a way to donate my skills in marketing/strategy and my love for humanity. I was instantly aligned to their mission of expanding economic power for women and local entrepreneurs. They believe that: More jobs mean less violence® Thus far I have used my skills to develop a Branding workshop and use it to mentor small business owners in Afghanistan. I've also had the opportunity counsel a small media company in El Salvador that is looking to take their business to the next level. My experiences with BPeace have been rewarding professionally but even more so personally as in my own small way I am an ambassador for my country, culture and profession.

This is a wonderful organization with dedicated staff and great opportunities to grow as a human being.

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!

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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.