The Nehemiah Project Board of Directors held their annual Board Retreat in Mexico City, Mexico, hosted by Board Member and Partner, Rene Villar. This was the first time the Board met outside of the United States. The meeting was held at the headquarters of one of Rene’s companies. Rene Villar is the first international Board Member, and it was only fitting to travel to his offices for this historic meeting. Special guests included Pastor Humberto Martuscelli and Claudia Trinidad of El Almendro Church. Humberto was the first Director of BE in Mexico and now pastors a local church called El Almendro Church. He will be hosting a marketplace conference for pastors in February, and he has invited Patrice to be the featured guest speaker.
Mexico was filled with warm greetings and a tremendous desire to build businesses through Biblical Entrepreneurship. We were greeted with heartfelt “thank you for coming to Mexico.” Our generous hosts, Rene and Lorena Villar, Executive Director Penelope Bravo, and staff including Melissa Bravo, German Villar, and Ricardo were outstanding in quality and attendance at meetings.
One of the highlights of our travel was going on a Kingdom Business Tour of local businesses who have been through the Biblical Entrepreneurship Program. These owners are an inspiration and motivation. They are the reason we are passionate about bringing the Nehemiah Entrepreneurship program around the world. Our curriculum is a catalyst for building kingdom businesses that support new businesses, provide jobs, and improve the quality of life.
Our first stop on the Kingdom Business Tour was In-Corp. This is a payroll processing service that serves twenty thousand employees in Mexico. They proudly display their mission and vision outside the offices. They have 200 employees, process over $8 million dollars of payroll a month with gross revenue of $1 million dollars. This company is owned by Rene, his brother, and several other partners.
Next stop was Powerself Technologies owned by David and Estella Ordonez. These Biblical Entrepreneurs have been in business for 20 years offering computer disaster recovery and continuity services. Their cloud-based technology backs up telecommunication infrastructure with their own links to provide communications, telephone, and internet services without interruption to their clients. They have been in business for 15 years, have 15 employees and 30 subcontractors, and operate at 80% gross profit margin.
We then visited Braveheart Collective. Jesus Florin and Rebecca Ross focus their ministry on working with indigenous tribes, Otomi and Huichol communities in Puebla and Jalisco, to support their economies by purchasing and reselling their crafts. Their vision is to share the best pieces of artisan creativity to deeply transform lives around the world. Their mission is to offer fair trade items through the distribution and promotion of handcrafts in the international market. In love, they work as a team and achieve mutual wellbeing and change. It takes just $250 per month to support a family of six which then prevents the heads of households from leaving their families to find work in the U.S. and Canada. The handmade items are sold at fairs and events in Mexico and North America.
BE Alum and Teacher Edna Carbajal with partner Raul Gomez began Grupo Tagata, a payroll management firm that serves more than 1500 employees. They work with employers to ensure proper reporting and payment of their payroll needs. This kingdom company is making a place in the Mexico marketplace by providing excellent customer service and ensuring its operations follow kingdom principles. Groupo Tagata provides employment for more than 10 and is a growing competitor in the payroll marketplace. They have been in business for only 1 year and already employ 35 staff with a revenue of over $700K a year. We joined the staff for an authentic Mexican lunch and enjoyed the fellowship with our new friends.
We also conducted various seminars and preaching engagements at various churches, ministries, and businesses. One of them was a coffee shop operated by Cynthia Ramirez Martinez. Cynthia is the General Director of Centro Latin de Mobiliacion in Mexico City. This is a hostel and coffee shop that sells local artisan crafts for sustainable missions. She opened their doors to host Nehemiah Project Mexico. We were expecting 15 to 20 people. Over 40 people came to hear Patrice Tsague’s message of repairing the walls in Mexico. There is power in the name of Jesus.
Overall, we met with inspiring entrepreneurs who have a vision of a better life for all Mexicans, including a young teen entrepreneur, Diego and his mother Eloisa Carmona of Vive Architecture and Interior Design. Nehemiah Project Mexico hosted a networking event for more than 80 businesses that included a presentation by Patrice, two BE III students presented their business plans, and live music from a cellist and violinist called Violonchelista. Patrice introduced Biblical Entrepreneurship and announced the launch of the Biblical Entrepreneurship Executive Program in Mexico on March 24th and 25th.
Patrice Tsague also presented “7 Theories of Growth” to Casa Sobre La Roca (House on the Rock) at several of their locations around Mexico City. The leaders Alejandro and Rosi Orozco were the first license partners in Mexico and introduced Biblical Entrepreneurship in 2007. The audience enthusiastically received his message and scooped all the books offered. Nehemiah Project Mexico will be translating Identity and Destiny, Serve with Love, and The Diamond of Life into Spanish. Rosi Orozco is now active in the human trafficking issue not only in Mexico but also on the global front. She oversees half-way houses for women and is planning a similar facility for young men rescued from this bondage.
Our week concluded with Patrice preaching at El Almendro Church in Santa Fe, Mexico. His message was on “The Tipping Point.” Pastor Humberto Martuscelli is the lead pastor. Patrice will be speaking at the El Almendro Pastor’s Conference in February. This strategic partnership with this church and others are important as Nehemiah Project Mexico moves forward.
We are excited about the potential for continued impact in Mexico. People are interested in becoming more than they are today, doing more to create profitable/sustainable businesses and achieve more for a prosperous Mexico.