By Brittany Hoffman, Former Manager of Marketing for RCE
During my time in Bogota, I worked with Visionet, an organization which seeks to bring transformation to Colombia primarily through leadership and entrepreneurship training. They work in several different neighborhoods and reach out to a diverse group of people. I was asked to teach a conference entitled Patterns of Biblically Based Entrepreneurship. Using the entrepreneurship education resources from RCE, I developed a 3-day conference which would be shared with entrepreneurs and those aspiring to become entrepreneurs.
The conference was superb. Although we only had 18 people in attendance, many were able to transform their thi
nking about starting a business. We learned together through a number of hands-on activities, discussions, self-reflection, and guided learning. Many of the students reported finding clarity and direction for the entrepreneurial endeavors. Several decided to pursue an idea they developed during the conference. All reported looking at entrepreneurship differently after our time together. They explored life purpose, idea creation and refinement, and patterns related to starting and running a business well.
One of the most valuable parts of the conference, however, was identifying a life purpose statement. Their statements were inspiring and encouraging to all those present. Some of the statements were:
- Be like Christ
- Serve and Grow with Others in Opportunities
- Live and Enjoy what God has Given
- To Live Without Worries and Not Be Frustrated as Time Goes By
- Tool of God, Light to Personal, Family, Business, and National Finances
- Bridge People and Opportunities
- Give My Time to the Lord, Serving the Things I Can, Because I was Born to Obey
- See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor. (Isaiah 55:4-5)
While I wasn’t teaching, those at Visionet showed me around Bogota, taking me on tours of the city to see the neighborhoods they work and to get a better understanding of Colombia. We found great synergy in the mission of Visionet and that of the Regent Center for Entrepreneurship, particularly within the idea of licensing a Business Development Center.
Visionet’s organizational gifts include a strong network of relationships and partnerships; passion for transformation; strong trainers, translators, and mentors; a history and reputation of excellence in Bogota; and a hardworking, persevering drive. In our conversations about possibly licensing a BDC, we discussed the possibility of trading translation services for the license.
In addition to the Regent Center for Entrepreneurship, the project was cosponsored by VisioNet, Regent University Global Affairs, and the Regent chapter of Students in Free Enterprise.
My brief trip to Cali was focused on meeting with the newly founded executive staff of CUDES University, the first Christian university in Colombia. They are using facilities in the same complex as a church while their state-of-the-art facility is being built.
I met with Ricardo Llano, the rector of the university, as well as Mr. Gonzalez, the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Territory, and Development (CETD). Additionally, I spoke with Pastor John Rodriguez who is the chairman of the board for the university and a pastor for a 20,000 member church.
Most of my time was spent meeting with Mr. Gonzalez and discussing what has worked with RCE, the models we have created, and in particular the Business Development Center model. In Colombia, entrepreneurship is a way of life and every academic program is required to have an entrepreneurship element. The CETD is creating an entrepreneurship path of courses that will run through each major as the university expands.
They are very interested in having a Business Development Center for a number of reasons – transformational possibility, community outreach, reputation validation by being associated with Regent University, etc.
God is so good to provide new and exciting connections all over the world.