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2019 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 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

145 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 AScalpello

Volunteer

Rating: 5

On the surface what I do on behalf of Bpeace seems so simple. I volunteer as a Skillanthropist and donate my capabilities and experience to business owners and their teams to help them grow their businesses. However it is the knock-on effect where the real impact is made and felt. A growing business creates more jobs. A job lifts an individual and his or her family out of poverty. A community where people are working and in turn contributing to the economy lifts the community and makes it healthier. More jobs in countries like El Salvador and Guatemala means less violence. The impact is real and visible and it is one of the most gratifying things I do. Bpeace makes a difference and working with them, so can you.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Bpeace for five years now and have loved every minute of it. I was able to adjust my level of engagement to match my schedule- the more time I had the more involved I could be. Bpeace's model of creating peace in post-conflict countries by creating more jobs is very powerful and proven to be effective. It takes the time to throughly investigate countries before it begins working there to ensure Bpeace's model will be a good fit for that country and will be able to make an impact. Since beginning as a volunteer in 2009, I am now a member of the Young Professionals Leadership Council and Executive Council- there are a number of roles to be played at this organization and they are always happy to help you find just the right fit. I can't recommend this organization enough. Their mission, their methods, and the people that work there all receive five stars.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bpeace does fantastic work. I have contributed pro bono time to BPeace to support both an El Salvadorian entrepreneur and BPeace HQ. I am impressed with the level of impact that the organization is able to have with limited resources.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Bpeace is one of my favorite organizations. I really like their model of helping people through economic empowerment. Their members take an active interest in teaching and supporting entrepreneurs who want to bring peace and prosperity to their countries. I have met several groups of "fast runners" - people who have what it takes to make a difference and are being given an opportunity and the support they need to succeed. Not only did I get great satisfaction from being able to help in some small way, but the "fast runners" also taught me about their cultures and inspired me with their courage and perseverance.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After 911 I wanted to do something positive to create a peaceful future. One day, I heard a colleague saying she was woking with a group that was working in Afghanistan. I went to a meeting, joined and never looked back. What a great group of people with a great program! Not only do I love getting to know and working with the American orgainzers and volunteers, I've also met most of the Afghan women who the program helps. I've watched their businesses grow and their lives change. I believe in the program and I've seen the results. Knowing the people who are doing the work and also the people who are receiving the help gives me confidence that my support is really making a difference. The bpeace volunteers that I've met are all knowledgeable and dedicated. Their expertise combined with their enthusiasm gives me confidence in the program. The women I've met from Afghanistan are also very impressive. These women are educated, but they still need help in learning modern business practices. Their gratitude for our assistance is matched by their excitement and inspiration to make their country economically independent and peaceful. I feel especially good about helping people in areas that have suffered from war because rebuilding is very important to preventing future conflict.

1 Aliana P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered on the Young Professional committee and was simultaneously able to help an amazing cause and gain valuable professional experience. I helped host Rwandan fast runner entrepreneurs on a visit to NYC, I planned events with 20 to 400 guests, fund-raised from individual and corporate donors, and researched new countries for Bpeace expansion. Through this work, I was connected to many other volunteer professionals in all stages of their careers who were happy to help out fellow volunteers with career connections and advice.

1 edusst10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Bpeace as well as other volunteers and those that are learning and improving their entrepreneurial skills in developing countries. I am impressed by the dedication of the team at Bpeace toward trying to help empower the entrepreneurs and help them improve and grow their businesses so that they eventually become self-sustainable. As a volunteer at Bpeace, I have learned a tremendous amount and continue to do so.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a great experience volunteering with Business Council for Peace. My peer volunteers all have diverse professional and cultural background, so I have learned a lot from my volunteering experience. Overall, as an Afghan American, I have not seen many Afghans take the initiative of helping women entrepreneurs like the volunteers and management of BPeace. I would highly recommend working with this organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bpeace connects people across the globe with dignity and positivity. It has been an honor to be part of their community for over 5 years and to meet the inspiring Fast Runners from around the globe and impressive volunteers from across the US.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about how impressed I am by BPeace. It is incredibly effective in achieving its mission of supporting entrepreneurs and creating job growth in conflict affected countries. I believe that focusing on job creation is key to creating a lasting impact in these communities, so the mission is one that I'm 100% sold on. The dedication and commitment of the management team (Toni, Marla, Lauren, etc.) inspires a great deal of confidence in the organization and its direction. From a personal perspective, I feel that my efforts as a volunteer are impactful since I see the results firsthand in the entrepreneurs I work with. I highly recommend BPeace to anyone looking to make a real difference to the people who most need it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For nearly a decade I have been involved with Bpeace. I am constantly amazed by the accomplishments of this volunteer based organization. By combining the talents and resources of its members, Bpeace has created an incredibly successful mentor program that reaches out to entrepreneurs in regions of conflict or post conflict and stimulates their growth - not through micro finance or loans, but by rolling up sleeves and offering guidance, support and mentoring geared to foster employment and growth. The results are staggering -

1 ld

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Bpeace for 7 years and during that time I have been blown away by the accomplishments achieved by the Bpeace members along with the men and women entrepreneurs in Boeace programs. This organization continually inspires as they help make more jobs in post conflict countries.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bpeace does extraordinary work mentoring entrepreneurs in post conflict countries to help create jobs for others. In Afghanistan, Rwanda and El Salvador, Bpeace is helping women grow their businesses and create new jobs. As an all volunteer organization, Bpeace members are passionate and personally involved in the work. There is no other organization like this one!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Bpeace for the past 7 years and year after year I get back more than I give. I get to work with some of the brightest, most talented people I've ever worked with, who are here for one reason- to contribute to the greater good. I have traveled with Bpeace to Afghanistan, served as a mentor, coached their staff and worked on several Bpeace initiatives. I have had the privilege to witness the direct impact our work has on the lives of entrepreneurs and their businesses and the profound ripple effect it has on the broader society. I am proud to be a member of Bpeace and hope to continue to contribute.

Thank you Bpeace and a special thank you to Toni!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bpeace is an extremely well organized and impactful organization. I have been continually impressed with the quality of the staff, selection of participates and results of their combined efforts.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member since 2005 and was inspired to help found their Young Professionals Committee. The enthusiasm among young professionals has been incredible. Bpeace is pioneering a model in which business professionals can volunteer their skills to help entrepreneurs in conflict-affected countries. The result is more jobs, and a reduced incentive locally to fight. Making a difference in an entrepreneur's business can be life-changing for the person volunteering, the entrepreneur, and even their employees. We make a strong impact, and I am now a proud Board Member.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a Bpeace member and volunteer since 2008 and it has been such a rewarding experience. My work has primarily been with the Young Professionals group which I helped run for a couple years, recruiting and engaging younger members.

What I love most about Bpeace is that I can use my business expertise to help the organization and entrepreneurs around the world. As a young professional I was able to execute high level, impactful projects that I might not have experienced for years in my career. And through hosting entrepreneurs in the US, I was able to interact directly with the people we were helping in an intimate and meaningful way.

Bpeace's mission of job creation for peace is one that resonates around the world and I am proud to be a part of such a worthy cause.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After a strong volunteering background throughout highscool and college, I entered the "real world" hopeful to find an organization that I could volunteer in which I could actually make a difference. After the standard arts & crafts with under-priveleged children and city park clean-ups and attending numerous fundraising events, I was feeling less than inspired! When I discovered Bpeace I realized I could not only make an impact half way around the world but I was also being exposed to a network of amazing businessmen and women spanning industries and broadening my professional horizons. Working with Bpeace you can find that perfect niche for your specific strengths and commitment level and develop business skills that as a young professional I might not have otherwise had access to for years to come in my full-time career. Bpeace is doing great and effective work in countries affected by conflict and I truly believe in their mission, that creating and sustaining jobs leads to less violence.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Bpeace for four years now and have witnessed its impact on women entrepreneurs it works with. I have been an active volunteer, that is I have worked with entrepreneurs directly, mostly in Afghanistan. Very rewarding experience, it expands your knowledge of cultures, entrepreneurship, it is intellectually stimulating since resources and tools that are readily available here in US are not in countries we operate, so you need to be creative, and finally emotionally very fulfilling when you realize by just sharing your knowledge and know how you made a difference in lives of not just those you worked with directly but indirectly (as the company grows and jobs created) in the community the business operates. You can do all of this from your office (as a host or as a mentor via skype) or when the opportunity comes, be a traveling mentor. Try it and you will never want to do anything else!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bpeace has a great philosophy to bringing sustainable peace to war torn countries: build local's business capacity and skills, help them be successful in their business of choice. This is accomplished by providing onsite (local to the country) business classes, providing laptops and essential business tools like Intuit Quickbooks, short internships in US based companies that resemble theirs, and matching them with US advocates that help them connect with the right people in US.

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1 Eric43

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi Toni,

It is always go to hear that there are successes. The team moves ahead one client at a time with very directed money and assistance. I remember watching the movie, "Where's my goat?". The Canadian film maker was trying to track down the specific goat he purchased through Plan International for a family in Gambia. After some considerable effort, he did track his money through their ledgers and visited the family who received his goat.

In the film he had a discussion with young professionals in Gambia regarding the goat program. The Gambians pooh poohed the program as too little and ineffective to the country as a whole. The filmmaker countered with the argument that each goat made a very significant difference to the receiving family. They had cash income from the milk, etc that helped fund their child's school fees. I convinced my kids to forego big Christmas presents and we bought a herd of 12 goats. I have been trying to find my goats
:-[
My point is that you are not splashing money around in a way that invites corruption and graft. The process Bpeace follows insures that viable candidates are assisted (and possibly funded) with extended hand holding. You do not just put a filter on the phonebook and fund everyone who come out of the filter.

I am quite pleased to be part of your resource pool.

Regards,

Eric Geis

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm so inspired by Bpeace. I've seen a lot of nonprofits in my day, and Bpeace is leagues ahead in terms of its vision, execution and impact. The leadership is bold and inventive, the volunteers are so organized and committed, and the results, well, they speak for themselves. I've had the great pleasure of working with Bpeace for three years now through an entrepreneurial venture in Rwanda. Bpeace helped us get it off the ground and continues to be a tremendous source of support. I'm deeply grateful for the work they do in Rwanda and across the globe to help ALL OF US live in a peaceful, prosperous world.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm ending my incredible 2.5 years as a Bpeace staff member, though I won't stray far from this organization. The Bpeace community is like a family.

Our Afghan entrepreneurs are smart, engaged and intelligent. I have learned so much from their deep passion and commitment to their businesses. I stand in awe of them every day--they surmount incomprensible obstacles. They are all hungry for knowledge and support and handle themselves professionally as they learn from our members, staff, and each other.

Bpeace members/volunteers are unstoppable. Many lead their own businesses or work at some of the most prestigious companies in the U.S., yet they make time to work one on one with our entrepreneurs to teach them best practices and transfer the skills and knowledge they worked so hard to attain. Bpeace members are generous with their time and understand how to articulate their knowledge and share it in order to make a real impact.

I may be biased, but the staff at Bpeace is stellar. Toni and Marla both have long, varied careers that inform how they manage Bpeace. The organization is run like a business--efficient, effective, and proven. They are honest and communicative and it has been my pleasure to work with them.

I am looking forward to my changing role at Bpeace as I go from staff to a member/volunteer. I am eager to stay involved in this community as it continues to evolve.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past August I had a great opportunity to volunteer for a Bpeace research project in Rwanda. It was an amazing experience and the Bpeace team couldn't have been more helpful during/after the project. The commitment Bpeace shows to its Fast Runners is undeniable. I hope to volunteer with Bpeace again to help in its efforts of creating jobs and making an impact

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great experience as a volunteer with Bpeace. I went on a research mission to Rwanda and the team was extremely helpful and committed to arranging the trip. They were always quick to respond and lovely to work with. They have a great track record of creating jobs in countries recovering from conflict and their work really makes an impact.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was trolling VolunteerMatch.org one day a few years ago, something I do ever so often to get a sense of what kinds of volunteering opportunities organizations are promoting, which organizations seem to be using it best, etc. And a posting by Bpeace got my attention. Bpeace was looking for someone to help them find funeral home managers who might mentor a funeral home director in Rwanda. I was completely intrigued by the posting - it's just NOT a volunteer posting you see posted every day. I went to the Bpeace web site and read more, and I became even more intrigued - as a researcher regarding volunteerism, particularly online volunteering, Bpeace looked like a model organization that I should know more about.

Because of my experience in Afghanistan and passion for empowering women, I decided to support Bpeace in some way. At first I was just going to promote them on my blog - but then I decided to volunteer formally, and to become a coach for a "fast runner" (an entrepreneur) in Afghanistan. Bpeace asks volunteers to pay a membership fee (something the Girl Scouts and many other organizations do as well). So, I joined, and I mentored a gentleman who was trying to expand a cleaning business in Kabul, and wanting to better cater to foreigners living in the country. I wrote about that experience here:
http://www.coyotecommunications.com/development/bpeace.html

It's not for entirely philanthropic reasons that I volunteer with Bpeace; if I'm going to remain an expert and trainer in volunteer management, I have to be a practitioner as well. I really intended to stay with Bpeace just for one year - and here it is, four years later. This experience has served me VERY well professionally, and when I'm train, I'm able to use experiences with Bpeace to illustrate various models of volunteer engagement (corporate volunteering, online volunteering, skills-based volunteering, pro bono consulting, etc.).