Thursday, January 13, 2011

Belay Enterprises: Incubating Business as Mission for Individuals Rebuilding Lives

Belay Enterprises was started by Mile High Ministries in 1994 by a group of businessmen and urban pastors with a heart towards business as ministry. The faith venture organized itself around the mission of partnering with the local church to create businesses that employ and job train individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, prison and homelessness.

Out of this vision, Belay launched in 1995 its first faith venture Bud’s Warehouse, a home-improvement thrift store selling recycled building materials to support a career and life-skills training program. During the past 16 years, Bud’s Warehouse has been a favorite destination for bargain hunters, receiving frequent media coverage for both its products and its mission. Because of the tremendous community support, Belay Enterprises has been able to incubate several additional Faith Venture projects.

In 2002, Belay expanded on the thrift store concept by opening Baby Bud’s, a maternity, baby and toddler products thrift store that employs disadvantaged single mothers. A few years later, Belay started Freedom Cleaning Services, a commercial cleaning company that also employs single mothers. Baby Bud’s and Freedom Cleaning Services were spun off into their own non-profit organization in 2009.

These projects were followed in late 2003 by the incubation of the Good Neighbor Garage, a job training and car placement program, which has since also incorporated into its own independent organization.

As Belay Enterprises enters its 17th year, it plans to continue using its resources to start new faith ventures. After these programs become self-sustaining, the organization will spin them off into their own entities and then refocus resources on future start-ups.Over the next 5 years, Belay Enterprises is aiming to create 750 employment and job training positions a year.

In 2011, Belay plans to open a cabinet manufacturing and training business for ex-offenders out of its Bud’s Warehouse project. Additionally, the organization is exploring opening a second Bud’s Warehouse location, starting a new mattress recycling business, and incubating a bakery employment and training program.

Finally, Belay wants to develop a Faith Venture Fund over the next few years.The organization plans to recruit experienced business leaders to work alongside Belay to identify, launch and provide mentor support of promising new ventures.

Belay believes in the positive power of faith ventures on behalf of disadvantaged communities. It partners with talented Christ-following entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to use their gifts and talents on behalf of individuals rebuilding lives.

For more information, please contact Belay Enterprises at 303-296-3990 or visit its website at www.belay.org.

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