RCE is proud of its rich heritage and exciting past. We stand strong on the foundation that Christ changes people through business. Below is a brief outline of how we came to be, and where we’re headed.
October 3-5, 2002 – Consultation of Holistic Entrepreneurs
This conference was the inspiration of Ken Eldred and Paul Cerjan, former President of Regent University, who wanted to better understand how the Lord was using business around the world to advance the Kingdom. Dr. John Mulford, the dean of the graduate school of business at Regent at that time, and Ted Yamamori, the distinguished visiting professor of holistic entrepreneurship, picked up the challenge to understand and document the global business as mission movement. Thanks to their leadership and diligent efforts, the first consultation was a resounding success, and the conference, attended by 200 men and women who were actively engaged in business as mission around the world, served as a means to gather people and information and to advance networking in this arena.
July 28, 2003 – On Kingdom Business is Published
The book On Kingdom Business edited by Ken Eldred and Ted Yamamori essentially reproduces in edited form most of the presentations made at the consultation. God is moving mightily on the hearts of many Christians in business to minister to the poor in developing countries through business—what some call Business as Mission or Kingdom Business. The need is great—billions of people living in abject poverty and spiritual darkness.
December 5, 2005 – Regent University Center for Entrepreneurship officially Launches!
While RCE can trace its roots to the Consultation of Holistic Entrepreneurs, Dr. John Mulford started the Center to be a “think-and-do” tank for kingdom business. RCE believes that all things are possible. The Lord has promised us the nations. Business is one of the most effective tools to accomplish the work of the King as we prepare for his coming.
Since the launch of the Center, we have participated in projects all over the world – Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Mexico, Peru and Ukraine. We have also held a number of Roundtable Discussions, Symposia, and Discovery Days and have had many pieces published in books and journals.
August 2010 – RCE Launches the First Model Business Development Center (BDC) in Kigali, Rwanda
With the ultimate vision of a global network of business development centers (BDCs), Dr. John Mulford and Jason Benedict set out to create one model center. They found Rwanda to be an ideal place to begin because of the ease of doing business. The Center partnered with the International Christian Chamber of Commerce and the Rwandan Development Board to fund, recruit, and run the 14-week entrepreneurship training course. (As of this writing, we have successfully graduated three cohorts of entrepreneurs.)
August 2010-2015—Rwanda and The Growth and Expansion of Licensed BDCs
Our flagship BDC, Rwanda, (www.bdcrwanda.com) originally launched through our partnership with ICCC in August of 2010. It was operated at a distance by RCE, through training and supporting entrepreneurs who were starting and growing businesses in all sectors of the economy. About 275 have graduated from the first 11 cohorts of the 14-week training program. Half of the graduates are currently running businesses which are transforming their lives and the lives of many others.
BDC Expansion—To impact the world, we need hundreds of BDC’s. Because RCE doesn’t want to operate a large organization—we are a catalyst—we decided to license the BDC concept to organizations and individuals who share our passion to transform people and nations through business. We developed a license package and opened the first licensed site in 2012—Bangalore, India (www.bdcbangalore.com). The second licensed site opened in 2013—Kampala, Uganda (www.bdcuganda.com). The third licensed site opened in 2014 – Stellenbosch, South Africa. In 2015, our fourth site opened in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Also in 2015, two of BDC Rwanda’s graduates became our fifth and newest licensees, representing a major milestone in our efforts to develop local leaders and carry on the initial work that began in 2010.
Looking Toward the Future
The start of 2016 brings a number of exciting projects on the horizon for RCE. We are looking to continue licensing our business development center curriculum and programming to other organizations who may want to join the global network. Additionally, we are pursuing breaking-edge research in the field of kingdom impact investing and franchising. We are poised and ready to expand quickly by engaging many licensees in many nations. God’s plan is bigger than ours, but we are excited to be along for the ride!
“Ask of Me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession.”