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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?

Continue Reading…

Professional volunteer Lindsey in Peru

I have lived my life in comfort. I have always had enough to eat, a place to sleep, a way to get to where I need to go, a loving family. I have never wanted for anything vital for survival. The hardest decisions I have made to date are where I would like to go to college and which job I should accept. Probability would have indicated a life very different from the one I currently live. I am an outlier. I cannot ignore my location outside of the bell curve. How do I respond to this? More importantly, what is the work God has crafted me to do? Continue Reading…