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Farmer advocates for “essential” workers

Told President Trump dairy, poultry industries need foreign help

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace – March/April 2018Luke Brubaker LNP Media Group

Many entrepreneurs wish they could have a face-to-face chat with a government leader to explain how that government’s policy is negatively affecting their business.

Pennsylvania farmer Luke Brubaker had that close-up conversation with US president Donald Trump last spring, as one of 14 representatives of the ag industry invited to the White House for a farmers’ roundtable.

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The economics of equality

MEDA gender pilot helps firms do well by doing the right thing

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace – March/April 2018

When businesses in developing countries think about social responsibility, consideration of gender equality doesn’t always make it on the list.

MEDA is working to change this situation by helping businesses consider gender issues as part of their investment decision-making.

“The private sector is interested in gender mainstreaming,” says MEDA’s Devon Krainer, who served as project manager for MEDA’s Gender Equality Mainstreaming (GEM) pilot.

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Helping by listening

MEDA volunteer business experts ask questions to help develop answers

As Printed in The Marketplace – March/April 2018Kathleen ENGINE meeting Getting businesspeople to think of themselves as service providers was helpful, says Kathleen Campbell (right)

Helping small businesses in Africa is like any new relationship in one important respect — listening carefully is a crucial first step.

“As outsiders, we never bring the answers,” Kathleen Campbell says. “But if we can bring the right questions, then it helps these small businesses. They can make leaps forward in how they start to think about their businesses.”

Campbell, who lives in California, volunteered in Tanzania for MEDA’s ENGINE (Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise) program for six weeks this past fall.

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Mango Time

Kenya vegetable packer helps small farmers expand into fruit production

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace – March/April 2018

Jane answers questions best

NAIROBI, KENYA - Jane Maina has a plan to increase the incomes of thousands of Kenyan farmers, and diversify her own business in the process.

Maina, managing director and co-owner of Vert, aims to reduce her vegetable processing firm’s dependence on European markets, and replace some of her nation’s imports of one of its favorite juices.

Through a partnership with MEDA’s M-SAWA project, (M-SAWA stands for Maendeleo- Sawa, or Equitable Prosperity) –Vert aims to train subsistence farmers how to grow mangos and passion fruit that meet international standards.

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Starting over with Peace by Chocolate

Family creates jobs in rural village that sponsored them

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018

In an ideal world, Tareq Hadhad would be practicing medicine in his homeland.

Instead, he is the public face of his family’s chocolate company, in a country they have only called home for a couple of years.

But with an entrepreneur’s can-do attitude, Hadhad chooses to emphasize the positive. “We always have challenges in our lives,” Hadhad said in a seminar presentation about his family’s firm, Peace by Chocolate, at MEDA’s annual convention in Vancouver.Hadhad shot possible head and shoulders for pg. 10

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Up from the ashes

Celebrated fashion line raises funds for charity decades after firm’s demise

By J.B. Miller

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018Eugene Alexander Dress Sue and EugeneSusan Kauffman and Eugene Stuzman with one of the Eugene Alexander gowns

High fashion ladies apparel is a fickle business. Each year new creations debut on Paris and New York’s fashion runways, setting style trends for the coming year. When the scene is repeated next season, the current “must-have” party gowns soon become aging fashion statements, finding their way to thrift shops and on-line markets for buyers of vintage or Halloween party attire and finally disappearing altogether.

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Reducing conflict through entrepreneurial activity

Economic development within ethical framework more effective than aid.

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018

Reducing armed conflict and providing economic opportunity are goals that go hand in hand, the founder of War Child Canada and War Child USA says.Samantha Nutt keynote MEDA convention 2017Dr. Samantha Nutt, founder of War Child

“You can’t have development without peace, and you can’t have peace without development,” Dr. Samantha Nutt said in a plenary address to MEDA’s annual convention in Vancouver.

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MEDA in Myanmar

Helping women in one of poorest countries of the world

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018

Allan Sauder AGM Speech 2017

MEDA is working to help 25,000 women in Myanmar, but is not involved in areas of the country where violence and conflict are occurring, president Allan Sauder told supporters at the organization’s annual convention.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is in transition from decades of political and economic isolation, and remains one of the poorest countries in the world, he said. MEDA’s ongoing work assists women in Shan and Kayin States to grasp new economic opportunities, primarily in agricultural markets.

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Christian insistence of keeping giving secret isn’t Biblical, businessman says

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018

The Christian view that giving should be kept secret is based on misunderstanding of two Bible verses resulting in a “secrecy doctrine” that we need to get past, a Manitoba businessman and former pastor argues.

Most Christians don’t understand the Bible passage they cite in arguing that giving should be kept secret, Peter Dueck says. “I would like us to get past this secrecy doctrine.”

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Demine Robotics

Company develops robots to clear deadly land mines

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017

3 Christan Lee and Richard YimCompany develops robots to clear deadly land mines

For Richard Yim, building a business to speed up the elimination of land mines is neither just a good business opportunity nor an abstract idea for making the world a better place.

Yim knows firsthand the human cost of leftover bombs from bygone wars. He and his family came to Canada from Cambodia when he was 13, five years after losing an aunt to a land mine. It’s still something that the family struggles to understand.

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A passion for social enterprise

GreenHouse helps students build skills, test dreams.

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017TaniaTania Del Matto

Tania Del Matto has a ringside seat on the next generation of people who want to change the world.

As director of the St. Paul’s Uni- versity College GreenHouse program, she walks alongside students who want to start businesses or non-profits, as well as folks who have an idea that they don’t know what to do with.

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Travel tales

MEDA staff encounter a variety of experiences during travels to countries where the agency works. As these stories show, trips can take unexpected turns.

Planes, strains and automobiles

Of all the travel MEDA president Allan Sauder has done with MEDA over the past three decades, the scariest took place on a visit to Peru 20 years ago.

Sauder and his wife, Donna, were visiting agribusiness projects in Peruvian jungles. After travelling all day to the main airport in Lima, they met a driver who would take them to a small airstrip atop the Andes. From there they would fly into the jungle to visit a palm heart project.Alan and Donna SauderAllan and Donna Sauder

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A passion for travel

Faith prints, wisdom exchanges part of TourMagination trips.

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017

Even in her childhood, travel was a passion for Audrey Voth Petkau.

“I always had a dream to see the world,” she recalls. “I remember early on, looking at a map of the world, and pointing to Switzerland, and saying, some day, I’m going to get there.”Audrey pita shotPetkau enjoys local hospitality in Ak Metchet, Uzbekistan in 2013

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Food for the future

Lancaster entrepreneur uses business profits to educate Kenyan children

By JoAnn Flett

As Printed in The Marketplace – March/April 2018

Dorothy Dulo is a social entrepreneur from Kenya who lives in Lancaster, Pa. She is soft spoken, thoughtful and exudes the gifts of the Holy Spirit like kindness and gentleness.

“As a woman entrepreneur, you need to have self-confidence and passion for what you do,” she said. “You also need to be relentless in doing things that will lead you to your goals.”

Dulo is intentionally giving women and girls opportunities to become social entrepreneurs, and to pursue their passions and interests.

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Faith in the workplace

Pastor converts to value of churches helping with job training

By Colin McCartney

A while ago I had the opportunity to attend a job creation conference in Memphis. I have been doing some church planting work for the Mennonites in low-income urban, neighbourhoods and they wanted me to look into creating micro-businesses that would employ people in our job-depleted urban communities.

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Maximizing purpose to grow profits

Businesses that take wholistic view are thriving

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018

Businesses that want to grow lasting profits will embrace “triple bottom line” thinking that seeks to maximize purpose as well as dollars, a Pennsylvania business professor says.Flett J 2013

“At the end of the day, because of how God has created and designed business to work, you are actually going to maximize profit if you pay attention to your customers, to your suppliers, to your employees,” JoAnn Flett said in a workshop address at MEDA’s annual convention in Vancouver.

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Finding workplace mentors in the Bible

Nehemiah set an example worth following, pastor says

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018David Esau IMG 3707David Esau

People looking for a mentor in their daily work would do well to emulate the Old Testament prophet Nehemiah, pastor David Esau says.

“I highly recommend Nehemiah to you.”

Esau, who serves as lead pastor at Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship in Coquitlam, B.C., made the suggestion in a Sunday morning plenary message at MEDA’s 2017 convention in Vancouver.

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Providing economic opportunity is a spiritual act

Long-time publications editor makes Biblical case for MEDA’s mission

As Printed in The Marketplace – January/February 2018Kroeker plenary 2017 convention

MEDA’s work providing economic opportunity in developing nations is a deeply spiritual vocation that is desperately needed by a hurting world, long-time staffer Wally Kroeker told the agency’s annual convention.

“I believe MEDA’s work is as Godly and missional as it gets,” Kroeker told over 300 supporters who gathered in Vancouver in early November. “Seriously folks, the world really, really needs our consistently transformational message. We exist for times like these.”

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Building more Bridges

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018

Record donations from supporters, assisting 91 million families and praise from government funders were highlights of the past year at MEDA, the organization’s annual meeting heard.

Supporters set a record in private contributions to MEDA for the second year in a row, totaling $6.5 million US, president Allan Sauder said.

Allan Sauder AGM Speech 2017A

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Investing in better futures

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017

Neil Denison of MEDA’s Waterloo office shared the reflection below during a Sept. 11 staff meeting.

 19 Neil 002

People are prone to do awful things when they lose hope. When they see no future. When they can find no opportunities.

What resonates deeply with me about MEDA’s mission is our desire to help people see hope in their communities, to find the opportunities for a better life and future. MEDA’s mission is a practical expression of Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Winning Warehouse

Head of Virginia firm sees success through flexibility, trust

By Jesse Huxman

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017

Devon Anders is all about building relationships. Anders is CEO of InterChange Group, a Harrisonburg, Va-based logistics firm. From the outside, you might think the business is just a warehouse company. It’s really about relationships.

Devon grew up in a Mennonite family near Souderton, Penn. Much of his business education came from watching how his father, a banker, treated others. “I learned that it was about treating people right. …My approach has always been, ‘Hey I’m going to try to be upfront with where I’m at with you, and I want you to do the same back to me.”Devon Anders

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Promoting Peace

Centre for Peace Advancement has helped non-profits and businesses

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017

Several registered charities — Pastors in Exile (an Anabaptist-rooted movement that connects young people in Waterloo Region with vibrant faith experiences outside and inside of church walls) and Theatre of the Beat (a travelling social justice theatre troupe) re-organized or developed their existing structure through work with Conrad Grebel University College’s Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement.

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Peace Ventures

Centre for Peace Advancement supports peace entrepreneurs

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017Paul 2 with Grebel logo backgroundHeidebrecht is energized by mentoring young people who are committed to change.

Paul Heidebrecht is a different kind of business coach.

Heidebrecht is director of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement, an inter-disciplinary organization that takes multi-sector approaches to the advancement of peace.

In a region that has many organizations working to encourage and support business start-ups in a variety of sectors, CPA is unique. It is currently the only university-based program in the world supporting peace-building related start-ups.

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