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If You Are Doing Business as Mission, You Are Doing Marketing.

This has been a big theme of this website for many years. And it is the foundation of a marketing class I’ve taught for YWAM for 5 years.
Recently, the importance of marketing came to the forefront while I gave a tour of Belay Enterprises to a friend interested in mentoring for our Venture Partners program. He is a business broker, who is hired by individuals looking to sell their businesses. And he notes that nearly all of the businesses approaching him for sale have significant room for growth in the future, simply by implementing better marketing. Effective marketing is the key to a thriving venture.
And marketing is more than advertising, as it is often, mistakenly limited. When done at its best, it is about defining the minimally viable market for your good or service and then making appropriate decisions about price, place and people. For the faith venture practitioner, marketing done well provides an opportunity to redeem the promotion piece of marketing, which sometimes get…

Seeking Ranch Land to Change Lives

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Do you know someone with an available small plot of ranch land in the Denver area?  Belay Enterprises, has identified a great opportunity for a business that both employs and serves the refugee community in Colorado. 

A local Nepali pastor has approached us with the employment needs of his community. There are a number of older members who are struggling with learning English, which is negatively impacting their ability to find work. The pastor has also noticed that his community prefers buying whole farm-raised goats over pre-packaged meats at the supermarket. He's also discovered there is a great price spread between purchasing the goats in other states and then selling them individually in Colorado. But the difficulty with the model is finding an affordable place to ranch the goats close to Denver.
This goat business model is also an opportunity for other communities in the U.S. and in the right developed nations. Our research shows that even non-immigrant communities are in…

Europe's Growing Desire for Third Wave Coffee Creates Opportunities to Employ Immigrants

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Over the last decade, coffee culture has undergone a big change in the United States. It is a movement often referred to as the third wave of coffee. And this new approach is opening up big opportunities for business as mission (BAM) ventures, especially in places throughout Europe.
Right after World War II, the first wave of coffee culture hit the American shores when the industry was invented with uniform roasts, mass produced for people less concerned about taste and more interested in price and a morning jolt of caffeine. In the 1990’s, Starbucks grew second wave coffee from a small shop in Seattle to locations all over the world. Second Wave coffee was defined by mass produced dark roasts emphasizing good taste that could by uniformly experienced in any of its stores.
We are now in the middle of the third wave coffee movement where specialty stores are producing high-quality coffees of different styles and tastes. These coffees are roasted to the specific profile of the bean as d…

Do You Know a Skilled Potential Founder of a Woodworking Business in Need of Shop Space, Mentoring and Financial Investment?

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In today’s tight commercial real estate market, affordable space to start a business is extremely difficult to find. It’s one more factor that can make starting a new venture seem like an impossible task. This is especially true for businesses like cabinet or furniture operations that require shop space to produce physical products.
Do you know a skilled potential founder of a woodworking business in need of shop space, mentoring and financial investment? Belay Enterprises’ Venture Partners program has an opening for a Christ-following early-stage founder in our innovative incubator program. The right candidate will have access to a 2000 square foot shop, be partnered with a cohort of three to five entrepreneurial leaders for two years, and be eligible for an investment from the Belay Opportunity Fund. In addition, Belay has a marketing pipeline of potential customers for the new cabinet venture that can help give a head start for sales success.
Belay Enterprises' Venture Partners P…

Belay Enterprises Seeks Early Stage Founders for New Venture Partners Program

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Do you know a Christian entrepreneur with a new venture in the idea stage to up to 2 years old? 
Belay Enterprises is looking for early-stage founders with businesses that seek to transform lives and love the community for our new Venture Partners Program. This program matches early-stage founders with a mentoring group of 3-5 business leaders. These cohorts will meet with the entrepreneur monthly to provide high-impact advice and a forum for working through challenges. 
The Belay Enterprises’ team will also offer targeted training and support to increase the performance of the businesses. In addition, the selected founders will receive a start-up financial investment to empower business growth.  All together, this investment of mentoring, technical expertise, and financial resources aims to increase the impact and effectiveness of the new ventures. In April of 2019, we will host our first Venture Partners event where we will match 3 to 5 founders with mentor teams.
Our new program build…

WorldVenture's M2M Project Seeks to Create Jobs for Refugees in Europe

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A good job is the best way to fight poverty. This fact has formed the foundation of my career leading Belay Enterprises over the last 19 years. Employment helps people move beyond the problems of being disadvantaged. It ends homelessness, reduces crime and allows people to support their families and engage in the creativity God intends for all to enjoy through work. I have seen first-hand in Denver how good jobs in faithful businesses transform lives. 
This Fall, I have a tremendous opportunity to take what we’ve learned at Belay and partner with Denver-based WorldVenture on its new M2M project aiming to impact changing cities throughout Europe.
Like in the United States, Europe has experienced an influx of refugees from the Middle East, fleeing violence and persecution. The M2M project is launching community centers in strategic cities throughout Europe to help refugees flourish and experience the Good News of Jesus. These community centers in places like Strasbourg, London and Barcelo…

Belay Enterprises Seeks Christ-Following Mentors and Early-Stage Founders for New Venture Partners Program

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When I ask successful entrepreneurs about their own startup experience, many regret not having found a business mentor for advice and support during that season.
Others wish they had been more intentional about their most impactful activities like how important it is to focus on marketing.  Some share they underestimated the significance of hiring the right team members at the right time or didn’t understand how the loneliness of leadership hurt their effectiveness and relationships. What makes this list interesting is all of these items could have found a solution in intentional, high-impact mentoring with experienced business leaders. This becomes even more true for Jesus-following founders who want to live out their faith through their business. It is not common to find startup advice online about how to help one's employees flourish, how to build a business that blesses its customers, or, for some ventures, how to hire individuals who were formerly homeless.  Support from a Ch…