Archives For entrepreneur

As a child, Ramona Rodriguez didn’t have the opportunity to attend school or learn to read. Though she refused to let illiteracy hold her back, the challenge cemented Ramona’s determination that her children would never face that obstacle in life. Whatever sacrifices she must make, her four children would go to school.

That resolve propelled Ramona, even as she mourned the untimely death of her husband and the father of her still-young children. As a single mother in Villa Mella, Dominican Republic, she worked multiple jobs—selling cleaning supplies and clothing and tending other people’s homes—to ensure she could feed her children and send them to school.

After several years, Ramona remarried, but her drive to provide never wavered. Ramona’s mother raised her to believe that nothing can be accomplished without the Lord—and Ramona now sees how He blessed her with an indomitable spirit, strong faith, and innate business sense that have helped her become the successful businesswoman she is today.

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By Regan Durkin, HOPE Rising advocate

For spring break this year, I traveled with a group of fellow University of Georgia (UGA) classmates to the Dominican Republic (D.R.) with HOPE International. I’m a freshman at UGA, a part of the Terry College of Business Entrepreneurship Program, and a HOPE Rising advocate. The HOPE trip was designed to expose students to the world of Christ-centered microenterprise development in a tangible way.

This opportunity to humble myself and learn from dedicated business men and women in the D.R. changed the way I view my faith and entrepreneurship. I realized that it’s the motivation behind the entrepreneur that defines his or her success—not the cash flow statement or the percentage of market share a business obtains. Money follows value every time, not the other way around.

Regan and Ana Delia

I had the opportunity to interview and learn from many clients like Ana Dilia. Ana does it all. She makes domestic products like shampoo, creates bags out of recycled materials, and crafts other small decorative items. Beyond her business, Ana went on to tell our group that she is passionate about teaching women in her community how to make these same products so that they can have a source of income.

Puzzled, we asked her,”Doesn’t that add competition into your market?” She reassured us,”Yes, but I don’t care if I have competition. I want to minister God’s grace to those around me so they may have better lives as well.”

Wow. Her passion for teaching made me make the connection that the ability to teach is a characteristic of an effective social entrepreneur because it makes those around you better versions of themselves. This theme of sacrifice and motivation to serve others is unreal. I saw and heard it over and over again while meeting these entrepreneurs in the D.R. It just makes me wonder, what if we took a fraction of this mindset home with us. How would entrepreneurship, or business in general, change in the United States?

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Lancaster-County-owned AmishQuiltShop.net, a retailer of authentic Amish quilts, has teamed up with HOPE International to invest in dreams. For the month of February, the company is donating all of its profits to HOPE.

Store owners Michael and Destiny Bell collaborate with Old Order Amish families who make beautiful quilts by hand. Their work has been featured in National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Amish quilt

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