Partners Worldwide began with a simple question: “Is there a way for businesspeople to become part of the solution to ending poverty, instead of being seen as part of the problem?”
In 1994, Partners for Christian Development, now Partners Worldwide, was formed when Kenyan and American business people met to establish a loan fund for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), a business savings and loan cooperative, and partnerships between entrepreneurs.
Partners for Christian Development grew out of World Renew (then Christian Reformed World Relief Committee). In 2005, responding to the increasing need to engage business people and professionals, Partners Worldwide was established as an independent faith-based business ministry, though it continues to partner with the Christian Reformed Church.
Partners Worldwide has expanded beyond its East Africa beginnings, and currently has active partnerships in 27 countries on four continents around the world.
We aspire to end poverty so that all may have life and have it abundantly.
We mobilize long-term, hands-on global relationships to form a powerful Christian network that uses business as the way to create flourishing economic environments in all parts of the world.
Partners Worldwide creates partnerships with local community institutions to provide Mentoring, Training, Access to Capital, and Advocacy. We build up permanent local capacity designed to catalyze entrepreneurs and job creators, and to celebrate business as a calling to do God’s work.
We work in 27 countries on four continents – around the world where unemployment and poverty affect individuals, families, and communities. We partner with Local Community Institutions (LCIs) in these places to create flourishing economic environments. Our goal is that in every community where our global Christian network is active all may have life and have it abundantly.
Our work in Nigeria
The Initiative to Promote Better Yields for Farmers (IPBYF) is a new and growing organization committed to creating flourishing economic environments in Nigeria. By working with farmers to build their capacity and with agribusiness companies to facilitate connections and growth, IPBYF seeks to connect parts of the agricultural value chain for the benefit of all involved. The organization’s goal is to empower farmers and farmers and businesspeople, creating true prosperity for individuals, families, and communities through innovation and Godly values. IPBYF aims to cultivate equity and justice in transformed lives and communities. Beginning in 2015, they launched agriculture value-chain programs with honey farmers and fruit farmers in Nigeria.
Worldwide in 2012. They have since increased their membership from 12 to about 40 members and look to further increase in the future as their strategy unfolds.
Since the inception they have strived to gain more business knowledge through in-house training, which is a compulsory activity for each member each quarter of the year. Mentoring is also made a compulsory activity for business members to encourage their development both as individuals and as businesses. The group is made up of businesses from various industries including: food technology, water chemistry, environmental chemistry, bag making, agro-production, medical laboratory science, boutiques, architectural science, printing and publishing, and bio-energy/alternative source of energy. These businesses will create multiple streams of income for the members of the local institution, provide sustainable jobs, and contribute immensely to the development of economic, social, spiritual, and environmental values in the communities they operate in.
The Jos Masterminds have also inducted the spouses of each member into the group as they believe strongly that good business, in this part of the world, function better when spouses are both aligned to vision, mission, and objectives. This is also in line with their membership strategy to increase financial capacity and resources for marketplace impact through personal witness. Each business is also visited on a quarterly basis to encourage, support, and challenge one another to greater works in Christ Jesus.
Light Microfinance Bank (LMFB) is our Local Community Institution in Northern Nigeria. Local leaders, including artisans, farmers, and small and medium scale entreprenuers, established the organization to combat the poor economic and social state of members within the church community. Many of these individuals and families work extremely hard, but remain poor, due to a gap in financial and business literacy, lack of opportunities and platforms allowing them to save and invest, and access to affordable capital.
LMFB incorporated in December 2011 and achieved licensing as a microfinance bank in the second highest category possible in 2012. The institution provides services that empower small and medium businesses to flourish and grow, creating more jobs and changing communities. To date, they serve over 8,500 members through a lending portfolio of over $1.5 million USD.
Partners for Christian Empowerment Network (PCEN) aims to bring about sustainable transformation to lives and communities, and to promote integrity in the marketplace. Since 2004, farmers and small and medium business owners in northern Nigeria have partnered from every sector to grow healthy businesses that meet the needs of the community. PCEN offers business training, local mentoring, and access to financial capital to over 700 clients who seek to create jobs and achieve a triple bottom line: economic profit, spiritual fruit, and social transformation. North American mentors have partnered with PCEN since 2004.
irtuous Women Credit and Loan Cooperative Society (VWCLCS) is made up of Christian business women—in Jos, Nigeria—engaged in diverse forms of businesses, making a difference in the marketplace by touching lives and winning souls for the Lord through their businesses. VWCLCS came together to receive training from Partners Worldwide’s business curriculum. Some of the businesses include: hair dressing, tailoring, catering, baking, poultry, integrated animal farming, fish farming, sales of clothing, shoes, household items, electronics, and laundry and dry-cleaning services. VWCLCS has two groups of twenty women in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, West Africa; one group of twenty women in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria, West Africa; and another group immerging in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria, West Africa.
The vision of Virtuous Women is the be one of the leading Christian women business organizations in Africa. To reach this vision, their mission is to empower Christian business women in marketplace ministry through capacity building and partnership with other stakeholders.
Water Wins works to offer the Avadi people of northwest Nigeria access to a basic human right—clean water. Since 2005, Water Wins has partnered with over 125 villages to install boreholes and hand pumps that are market-driven. Communities partner in each installation by saving and investing 18-percent of the costs. Nigerian staff members integrate holistic development in each community by training adults in literacy, health and sanitation, and by planting churches and schools in cooperation with village members. North American mentors with experience in engineering and project management walk alongside the staff.