December 2015
From Typhoon to Triumph

As we celebrate our Savior’s birth, we also celebrate how His victory gives us and our partners around the globe hope and strength to press on through the storms of life.We are filled with joy to share this update from the Philippines.

Philippines Update: After the Typhoon…

Long Term Business Development

Over the past two years we have shared periodic updates about T-Ventures’ involvement following Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which devastated the central region of the Philippines in November of 2013.

  • First, we raised money for emergency relief.
  • Second, within three weeks, we started planning and raising capital (the Lord provided over $200,000!) for rebuilding destroyed businesses. With the help of Mark and Darlene from New Hampshire, hundreds of small businesses were relaunched through a loan/grant program.
  • Third, we are now in full swing of the final phase — long term business development.
    (Learn more about our three-phase approach to disasters in this two minute clip:  Post-disaster Relief, Rebuilding, & Development)

Long Term Business Development
Rebuilding helps families and their small businesses get back to where they were before the disaster hit.  While that’s important, our goal is for the communities where we get involved to advance far beyond where they were. We care about their holistic community growth – economic, spiritual, and social.

Missional Business Centers (MBC)
To accomplish this goal, we have partnered with Missional Business Centers (MBC)to launch a couple business centers in the Cebu Region of the Philippines.

MBC was originally formed to serve in the slums of Manila. We are partnering with them to expand their operations into the Cebu area. MBC walks alongside the poor, connecting them with training and resources that enable them to strengthen their businesses and increase their income.

MBC is much more than micro-finance. It is a carefully scripted and documented two year process comprised of four phases: 1) business education 2) business plan development 3) capital formation and 4) coaching and mentoring.

MBC partners with local churches, faith-based organizations, and business people to help lift people out of poverty and contribute to the building of a strong and vibrant middle class, using successful, compassionate, free enterprise methods built on Biblical principles.

Cebu Operations
With Jim from Orange County, CA, driving our end of the project, we found Henry, a strong Filipino leader living in Cebu. We launched MBC last April.  Multiple rounds of training have resulted in 40 business plans with the potential to start new businesses in some of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon. Those (carefully vetted) 40 individuals, are now being connected with sources of capital (in addition to their own savings) and coaches.

Rebecca represents just one of those 40 stories.

From Rags to Riches…Almost

Rebecca has been in the rag making business to supplement her family’s income. (It is difficult to make ends meet for her family of four.)

Rebecca came to our “Start Your Business” class with a great attitude and big smile. She took to the financial exercises like a duck to water – fixed and variable costs, cash flow, and other concepts. Exercise 31 was all about calculating profit and loss.  All of a sudden, her face clouded over and she teared up. When we asked what happened, she said, in a soft, sad voice, that the Exercise 31 showed that she had been making 390 pesos a month for the last several years (about $8.67 month). She was devastated that she’d worked so hard for so little.

Her MBC instructors and classmates rolled up their sleeves and vowed to make “lemonade out of lemons.” Rebecca told us that if she had an electric sewing machine, she could produce many more rags and make some good money. We embarked on a revised plan with the electric sewing machine. The profits and cash flows looked good. Rebecca was getting excited again. And then the bottom fell out. Our hearts broke when we found out that she doesn’t even have electricity wired into her modest house.

Undaunted, Rebecca and her instructors came up with another alternative. By adding additional higher margin products like pot holders and door mats to her rag production, she could she could produce a significantly higher income. In the meantime, the pastor of her church indicated that he will help her get electricity to her house.

We recently visited Rebecca’s fifty square foot home. We asked her what has changed since she attended our class. She was thrilled to report that she no longer has to borrow money from the loans sharks (20% interest per month), because of what she learned in class. She has stronger cash flow and is seeing greater profits than she was before our training. She is planning to have electricity in her home in the next couple of months. Once her electricity is installed, she will really ramp up!

You can help us create more stories like Rebecca!

We need more business people like Jim, Darlene, and Mark who are able and willing to spend a few weeks to a few months — or even a few years — in a strategic location around the globe, cultivating connections in the business community, mentoring, and encouraging emerging entrepreneurs.  We need others who might not be able to travel or live overseas, but see how God is at work through business training and development and are called to join His work through generous giving.

We are tremendously grateful for your kind and faithful contributions throughout 2015! Without you, the Rebeccas of the world would not have access to business training, capital, and coaching. Your year-end gift or new commitment for 2016equips us to reach more entrepreneurs.

For $25/month, you provide business training and community for one more future business leader. S/he will be equipped to tackle the challenges of business start-up or expansion and experience triumph and transformation, as s/he learns to trust in God — listening to and obeying Him — more and more, through it all.

If you are intrigued by what Jim, Darlene and Mark are doing and want to explore opportunities to volunteer or travel with us, contact Melissa Schaap or check out our website.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a thriving new year,

Bruce, Melissa and the T-Ventures Team

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