Leading With A Servant Heart and A God-Given Call to Business
Corruption and violence continue as major obstacles for local job creators in Honduras, and yes, this can often make “success” a lofty goal. However, in the midst of this, the nation—from the bottom to the top—is going through a unique time that inspires much hope.
Two institutions have woven themselves into the fabric of the Honduran communities they serve – MCM and Diaconia Nacional (DN). They serve their communities in various ways, ranging from education, health, church growth and business development. Over the last decade, Partners Worldwide’s partnerships with these two institutions have impacted thousands of small businesses. Supported by their North American partner team – the Honduran Pella Affiliate – they provide access to capital and business skills training in some of the most marginalized urban communities in the country.
Each of these partnerships is essential to fostering prosperous economic environments for all. On their own, they are powerful, but together—as a network – they are life giving. When small business owners can access tools and networks that are normally out of reach, they are able to thrive and bring economic prosperity to their own communities.
Elizabeth is an inspirational example of how access to these tools opens the doors to thriving businesses in unexpected places.
Elizabeth was raised in an orphanage, but her God-given call to business, service, and leadership was evident from an early age. It was during her time as an intern for DN in 2006 that she first developed a heart for serving and helping small businesses grow. Soon after, DN helped Elizabeth open her own business – a souvenir shop in an abandoned building in a touristic site in Honduras – with a US $50 loan!
She bought a small inventory of hammocks, clay decorations, and other souvenirs targeted at tourists. Under her careful management, the business prospered and a few years later, she opened a mini market in a rented building, serving a small neighborhood in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.
Over the years, Elizabeth accessed various loans as well as business training and mentoring through DN. Partners Worldwide has also provided constant encouragement, mentoring, training, and prayer. All-the-while, Elizabeth has mentored and trained countless emerging entrepreneurs in her community. Her life has inspired people far and wide, and she has even received multiple awards as a member of our global network.
Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and her vision for prosperous communities all over Honduras, Elizabeth continues to innovate. Her newest business ventures include apartments for rent and a tortilla business right next to her mini market. However, even with multiple ventures in hand, she has learned to be a wise steward of the resources God has given her. Her first business – the souvenir shop – continues to thrive. She has come a long way since her initial $50 loan nine years ago. Following her dream, her mini market now operates on a piece of land just across the street from the original location that she purchased three years ago.
Elizabeth’s use of the entrepreneurial tools at her disposal also shows the maturity of her leadership as a businesswoman – not only has she maintained a stellar repayment rate on all her loans, but today she uses debt largely to finance infrastructure and capital improvements as opposed to the inventory she purchased with that first loan.
So now, Tegucigalpa has one more dynamic business leader that recognizes her role in God’s kingdom as called to business. A businesswoman who employs numerous people in multiple businesses with a servant heart deeply committed to blessing the community and people around her.