Building businesses in Belize

By January 17, 2024

Belize (MNN) — Entrepreneurship is a triathlon with financial stability at the finish line. Full Circle, new friends of FARMS International, is helping locals in Belize kick off their careers as entrepreneurs.

The first leg of the race is an education program. Full Circle holds training for students in four-week stretches for a total of twelve weeks. Scott Clifton of FARMS International says “There are different types of businesses like printing services, fishermen, seamstress, caterer, cleaner, and hairdresser.” Recently, three students opened up a jewelry shop, a honey business, and a Mayan cuisine restaurant.

The second stretch involves creating a plan. “Graduates will be paired with business mentors, and they’ll work to refine a workable business plan,” Clifton says. It’s all about taking what students have learned in the classroom and applying it to their specific vision.

Finally, the plan has to become reality. That means securing startup funds, which is where FARMS International comes in. “We are working to establish that revolving loan committee who will oversee this program that will give opportunities to those who have made it through that coursework,” Clifton says. “It’s a revolving loan, meaning as a loan goes out, someone will take it, start their business, and repay it to the committee. And then it’s there for the next class and the next participants as they graduate.”

But FARMS International focuses on something more than business plans and entrepreneurial success. They also want to see these businesses open up opportunities to show Jesus to their communities.

“These activities, although you can focus on sort of secular aspects of business, and income and expenses, at the end of the day is just the tool that the participants are using to glorify God,” Clifton says. “It’s the tools they’re using to build the church in their area. These businesses are just an extension of the church really, and as they have success, […] generally it brings income into the church, which then can conduct its ministry – but they’re also mission only minded within the businesses themselves.”

If you want to learn more about the work of FARMS International, you can do so right here.



Header photo courtesy of Unsplash.

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