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 around the world are aware they have this opportunity to make a lasting kingdom impact in their communities. 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. This year we received six very diverse business ideas from six different countries. All six contestants nailed their pitches with so much precision and confidence, they left the judges and audiences in awe of their perseverance to turn their business ideas into a reality. Hearing each one of these ideas gave us hope that even in the midst of severe hardships, there are kingdom entrepreneurs out there striving to transform their nations and the world through their God-given gifts and talents.
The judges had a tough time deciding on a winner for the competition, each contestant had presented their best pitch, and each had an innovative and unique business plan, but there could only be one winner. It was a waiting game for all, as the announcement was only to be made the next day at the celebration banquet. Towards the end of the night, Debra Schlaht, Director of International Programs took the stage to make the announcement. The entire hall erupted into cheers and applause as Andrii Solodovnyk from Ukraine emerged as the winner of the 2018 International Business Plan competition. The runner-up position went to Frank Kitonga of Kenya and the second runner-up went to Mike Cross from the U.S.A.
CLICK HERE to read all about the six contestants, their vision and their business plan pitches that were presented at this year’s competition. Each of these contestants qualified for the International Business Plan after completing the Biblical Entrepreneurship Biblical Entrepreneurship I, II, III and was selected as a winner in their local national level business plan competitions. You could be the next entrepreneur pitching your business plans at next year’s competition. Find out more about our Biblical Entrepreneurship program by writing in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next year’s International Business Plan Competition will be taking place at Nehemiah Week 2019 in Washington D.C. Registrations are now open at a special rate of only $750. Join us next year to witness fresh business pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs around the world – we can’t wait!