Turn Your Knowledge Into Impact.

Business Affiliates volunteer their skills, experience, and resources to help end poverty through business.

What does a Business Affiliate do?
A Business Affiliate (BA) works with a local partner in our network, and the business owners they serve, to help them grow and expand the influence of their work. How? Initially, BAs listen and learn. Then, they offer ideas, advice, and encouragement. A BA is a volunteer business coach, an active listener, a sounding board, a consultant, and a prayer partner—all in one.

Who does a BA work with?
As a BA, you'll work with the leaders of our local partner organizations and the business owners they serve. You'll also work with Partners Worldwide staff members who facilitate, support, and grow our partnerships.

What are the qualifications for being a BA?
First and foremost, you should care deeply about ending poverty. You also should be curious, servant-hearted, interested in building cross-cultural relationships, and have the ability to navigate new situations. You've run a small business or have business knowledge and experience. You're a recent graduate looking to use your education and knowledge to help others. You're an expert in your field. Your skills and heart to serve are extremely valuable.

How long is a BA commitment?
As long as you want. There's no minimum or maximum time requirement, but most BAs end up working with us for years and even decades. It's a testament to our relational network—the collaboration, trust, and meaningful relationships that are established. Our recommendation is to dive in and see what happens!

A Variety of BAs

Meet a few of our BA team members.

We partner with a wide range of businesspeople throughout our global network. If you would like to explore joining a BA team, fill out the Connect Profile (button above) or give us a call at 616-818-4900.

Jennifer Pettie

Region: Haiti

Experience: 15 yrs., Finance

Years as BA: 5

Jen helps entrepreneurs think through different business processes so they become more profitable. She helps with bookkeeping, marketing and general operations, while encouraging them to be strong, positive representatives in their communities. She has recently focused on helping the mentors find younger, local mentees they themselves can mentor and develop.

Jerry Sytsma

Region: Africa

Experience: 23 yrs., Executive

Years as BA: 4

A graduate of Calvin College, Jerry leads a $200m portfolio of departments for an international manufacturer. Jerry also helped start Grand River Bank. He works with and mentors capable business leaders in Uganda as they strive to use capital and business training to develop jobs among vulnerable communities. Jerry feels blessed in this work and see business and entrepreneurship as a calling.

Mike Van Laan

Region: USA

Experience: 4 yrs., Accounting

Years as BA: 3

Mike mentors start-ups who are in the early stages of building their business. His mentees have gone through the Spring GR class and seek to continue their growth. He helps create 30, 60, and 90-day goals for his clients. Mike’s specialty is finance and he assists in determining the numbers required for profitability. Mike sees his opportunity to volunteer and help people pursue their dreams as a joy!

Get Involved

Explore current opportunities.

Each button brings you to a description of the BA role as well as an overview of the organization you'll partner with. If you have any questions, would like to learn more, or would like to pursue one of these opportunities, contact us here.