This month marks one year since Church of God Network gave out the first grant for the CGN Educational and Business Development Grants program. Our very first grantee was Brian Magara Rafiki who is a member of an independent Church of God congregation in Kenya and used his grant to start a car wash and tire repair business. Since then we have given out 5 more grants to brethren in 4 different Church of God organizations and 3 different countries (Ghana, El Salvador, and Kenya).
The purpose of the Educational and Business Development grant program is to help Church of God brethren in developing countries start successful, profitable, and sustainable businesses, or obtain training or education for jobs that will provide a reliable source of income. We do this through micro grants that help pay for the training, education, or the start-up costs associated with a new business (inventory, equipment, fees, etc.).
Our belief is that helping brethren build capacity is more impactful than providing temporary assistance. The nonprofit world is slowly realizing that we too often treat those we seek to help as objects of our charity rather than people who are heroes of their own stories. At Church of God Network, we see our grantees as partners and work with them to help make their goals a reality!
We’re excited to announce more grantees in 2021! For now, check out our “Previous Grantees” page and read through some of the encouraging updates below. If you or someone you know would like to apply for a Church of God Network grant, please visit: churchofgodnetwork.org/grant-program
Update on Jeanette Bonilla’s Business:
Jeanette Bonilla is a member of the Living Church of God and lives in El Salvador. She is the founder of Visional Web. Jeanette is using her grant to market and promote iOrdera, a project of Visional Web. iOrdera is a Software as a Service (SaaS) developed to meet the needs of the small and medium-size restaurant industry. Here is a recent update from Jeanette:
“We have just launched our Spanish site: buscaycome.com, this is a website planned to be offered along with the SaaS software orders. It allows people to search and get a list of food delivery services and restaurants for the area of Central America. You may understand that since the pandemic issue, no food facilities are open.
So, in the last month, we’ve been on e-meetings working on outlining everything. iOrdera – POS and inventory will be offered once people can get open their facilities to the public again. We decided to launch just the e-commerce site firstly and have the clients to accept orders from their customers to deliver services. They are signing up for free, then we will go into phase II, which is offering paid plans. There are plans for unifying everything into a single brand-name, but for the Spanish market buscaycome.com is attracting the interest of people, the site allows businesses to register and take orders for delivery.
For now, I can say that we are excited about the results of the launch.”
Update on Bernard Ernest Obbin’s Business:
Bernard is a member of the Church of God, An International Community in Ghana and used his grant to start a home goods business. Bernard’s main source of income now comes from his business. While things are slow right now due to COVID (prayers are appreciated!) he is able to make an income he otherwise wouldn’t have had.
Update on Sharon Darizo’s Education:
Sharon is a member of the United Church of God and lives in Nairobi, Kenya. She is using her grant to complete her bachelors degree in Business Administration. Due to COVID19, Sharon decided to initially sign up for online classes, at a reduced rate, and use the balance of her grant for the school fees for next semester in 2021.