Most of our friends of Bless Back know that our ministry was started out of a disaster relief response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010. While today the majority of our Bless Back trips continue to have a focus on medical and health needs, our vision has grown over the years to include other means to make a difference.  One of the newest and most exciting ways Bless Back is making a difference is through economic development and formation of the Bless Back Business Academy.

In June of 2015, a small group of local Charlotte business leaders conducted the first Bless Back Business Academy in Diriomo, Nicaragua. The type of businesses and size of Diriomo were manageable to pilot business concepts. The format of the initial educational workshops was a combination of group teaching round table discussions, and break-out sessions.

Under the leadership development of Ron Pedemonte, a business team was created to develop and implement a Business Academy Strategic Plan.  This plan includes conducting business site visits to those that attend workshops and completed business profiles.  The plan invests educationally, spiritually, and financially into the local businesses of our ministry countries and partners.  Helping create self-sufficiency is a key goal of the strategic plan.

In Nicaragua, there has been great progress over the last year with the Academy: 6 workshops have been taught during several Bless Back trips, a local Business Coach was hired, a Business Association was developed, and the micro-loan program is well underway.  Within the past month, the Business Academy vision was introduced to our Haiti  partners with a plan to launch the Academy in that community on our upcoming Bless Back trips to Haiti.

We are very grateful to Ron and his team of local business leaders for their leadership in launching this effort to create self-sufficiency in the local communities. This is an important value of the Bless Back ministry model.

Ron Pedemonte leads a  Business Workshop for local business leaders in Nicaragua on a recent Bless Back trip