Leading with integrity, authenticity, and a servant-heart can be hard to do in the business world—even among Christian business owners. This is unfortunately true in Haiti, too.
Whether simply our human nature, or our failure to understand business as a holy calling and an opportunity to serve others, it is an issue we strive to reconcile here at Partners Worldwide.
In order to address this in Haiti, our Business Affiliate team of volunteers from Lake Valley, Arkansas developed the Wisdom Training for Business Leaders curriculum.
Uniquely designed for business leaders, the curriculum is infused with Biblical wisdom and covers sixteen topics, including:
- Understanding what real success is
- Work-life balance
- Serving customers and employees
- Blessing others
- Leaving a legacy
We piloted the training in September of 2017 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Three of our local partners came together to host the training, and over 80 people attended.
Amidst the lively atmosphere, I witnessed the positive, interactive group discussions the participants were having. It is clear that there will be a significant change in their perspectives as these business leaders begin to integrate their faith and business.
After the training concluded, I spoke with several of the participants to hear their feedback. The response was overwhelmingly possible.
Participant Pierre-Vil Peter shared that the training highlighted “…the relationship that exists between God and my business. It was such an eye-opening training for me on things that I neglected before. It will help me manage my business better in serving my community.”
Jules Widline Joseph, another participant, echoed Pierre-Vil’s sentiments. “(The training) was very important for me. It will change the way I treat people and help me have a better understanding of what success is. From now on, I will always seek God’s wisdom first.”
Brunel Louis, Partners Worldwide’s Business Development Coordinator in Haiti, was also blown away by the training. He thinks the Wisdom Training is even more critical than the traditional business training Partners Worldwide offers.
While our standard business training curriculum is Biblically-based, Brunel says the Wisdom Training applies to all people—not just business owners or entrepreneurs. He asserts, “I think this training should be taught at primary school, at university, and to the entrepreneurs of Haiti to make them aware of their real mission in their communities.”
Other participants mentioned that they wish they had received this type of training earlier on in their lives and careers.
“This training proves that the Christian leaders of our country have failed,” says Fredel Jean, the coordinator of our partner REPP. “I should have received this training a long time ago. I am grateful that we could learn it now, but at the same time; this is the type of training that I would hope to receive from my congregation.”
The one resounding piece of feedback I heard from all the participants I met was that they think everyone in Haiti should receive the Wisdom Training. While that may be an ambitious task, we are currently working to roll out the training with each one of our partner institutions in Haiti.
The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the training demonstrates the genuine desire of business leaders in our network to learn, grow, and use their business for good. We are very encouraged by this result and are honored to be part of God’s plan to encourage business leaders to grow ethical businesses in Haiti.