Dozens of Seventh-day Adventists from throughout the Atlantic coastal area of Colombia recently benefitted from specialized entrepreneurship workshops to assist them in providing for their families during the pandemic.
“We wanted to help families reactivate their economic situation with entrepreneurship projects in the context of the economic crisis that the pandemic brought on in our country,” Gamaliel Fandiño, pastor of the Sabana district, said. Fandiño’s district includes Baranoa, Galapa, Candelaria, and other municipalities.
The program included developing skills and acquiring tools to help the entrepreneurs carry out their projects successfully, thanks to the support of Baranoa’s mayor’s office and the National Learning Service (SENA), Fandiño said. “Both state entities contributed through training and project follow-ups by the leadership of Wilmer Barandica, development director of SENA in the region, and Giselle Polo, adviser for entrepreneurship and tourism in Baranoa,” Fandiño added.
“We have been leading many projects which have brought great results so far this year,” Polo shared. “Our banner project is to support the entrepreneurship projects and business ideas with advice, strategies, market study, and financing with microcredits,” she said.
The event allowed participants to come up with business opportunities, move their ideas forward, and come up with entrepreneurship proposals.
“The culture of entrepreneurship is fundamental to work in our business ideas,” Barandica said. “Through entrepreneurship, we can achieve an economic reactivation and generate a project for life.”
Some 50 members met at the Filadelfia Adventist Church in Baranoa for the training program held on August 15, 2021, while 100 more families took part online. At the end of the full day of entrepreneurship training, participants received products and financial support to assist with their selected projects and business ideas.
The program was also overseen by the church leadership of the Atlantic Colombian Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Most of the families in need were selected from among the 10 Adventist congregations in the district to participate in the specialized entrepreneurship projects, which included welding, small beauty shops, mini grocery stands, and more.
Rafael Machado Bohórquez said he had been working in his welding shop for one year, and he needed more support. “I thank God for the resources provided, and I know that it will help me move forward,” Machado said. “The church helped me with a welding machine, since the one I was using is more of a handcrafted kind, and now this new machine has all the technical characteristics that allow me to work more efficiently and professionally.”
Depending on each project or micro-enterprise, the church assisted with money and supplies, Fandiño said. “If a church member needed a welding and polishing machine, we would provide those tools. For another church member who has a beauty business with her husband, we assisted in giving her supplies so she could sell them.”
“It was all about entrepreneurship and giving out tools, supplies, and assistance to the members so they can grow their business and support their families,” Josue Torres, president of the Atlantic Colombian Conference, explained. “It’s important to receive a spiritual blessing, but besides the spiritual blessing, our Father also has a special benefit in our life,” he said.
Torres said that leaders are looking forward to seeing members boost their economic situation in the region, and projects like these can be replicated in other districts across the church territory in northern Colombia.