It is said that competition is a critical driver for performance and innovation. It encourages new ideas to flourish and transforms the marketplace. Given that the social and economic problems facing our world today are increasingly complex, we need a generation of entrepreneurs who dare to build innovative, long-term solutions that can produce a positive social impact and financial prosperity.
This is the main reason why we come together year after year for the International Business Plan Competition during Nehemiah Week, so that aspiring kingdom entrepreneurs are aware they have this opportunity to make a lasting kingdom impact in their communities. This competition has provided a launching pad for entrepreneurs from all around the world to turn their kingdom business plans into a tangible reality. What sets this competition apart from the rest is that it not only gives them a window to showcase their innovative product or service models but it provides a supportive environment to enable their ideas to reach the marketplace and impact their communities.
Each year, prior to Nehemiah Week we receive applications from aspiring entrepreneurs all around the world, wishing to pitch their business ideas before a panel of judges in a trial-by-fire opportunity that could launch their dreams into reality. All these applicants that come to us have one thing in common, they desire for a success that not only focuses on a prosperous bottom line, but for a success that can produce an economic return and a sustainable, social impact. What’s interesting is the competition for the last 8 consecutive years has produced winners from developing countries like Haiti, Madagascar, and Ukraine, defeating out other competitors from more developed, powerhouse countries like France, U.S.A., Australia, and Canada. These winners have gone on to build businesses that provide God-honoring products and services in a God-honoring way whilst creating employment opportunities and an economic growth in countries where such possibilities are scarce.
Last year’s winner, Rosela St. Vil went on to create a business establishment called Zazouty Ice Cream, that provides a healthy, safe, positive, and godly gathering place for children, youth, and families in the midst of severe political, social and economic instability that continue to affect Haiti. It is without a doubt that the quality ideas that have been converted into real businesses through this competition to create lasting social and kingdom impacts have been extraordinary. So as we gather once again to witness fresh innovative business ideas this year, who are you rooting for to take home the coveted International Business Plan trophy? Let’s meet the contestants: