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Former tech executive urges students to take values-based approach to business.

By Mike Strathdee

Christians in business must realize that achieving success is only the first of two important journeys in life, says the former chief operating officer of the company that created the smart phone.
Life’s first journey is building a career and becoming a growth junkie, committed to life-long learning, Don Morrison said in a speech to students at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, ON.

Economic development programs that focus on women’s needs can have a major positive impact on the lives of the clients, their families and their communities.
So says Su Sandar Koe, who works as gender co-ordinator for MEDA’s Improving Market Opportunities for Women (IMOW) project in Myanmar. While most economic development programs are not women focussed, IMOW is.

Improving the lives of vulnerable populations so that all people may experience God’s love sometimes requires moves to seek equity rather than just equality.
Achieving equity may require understanding of, and consideration of the concept of intersectionality.

Land tenure is a critical issue in efforts to build equity, MEDA discovered during its Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project in Ghana. Land tenure “underpinned women’s ability to participate in agriculture, their agricultural productivity… and ultimately, their income.”
Women are far from being treated as equals in Ghana.

Improving women’s empowerment in a systemic way requires meaningfully engaging men in gender equity strategies.
During the Greater Opportunities for Rural Women (GROW) project in Ghana, MEDA realized it needed to engage men beyond their role as gatekeepers, turning them into allies in gender awareness raising. It also needed to ensure that men did not feel left behind by development efforts.

Jordanian woman becomes an entrepreneur with her husband's support

As Published in The Marketplace Magazine

By Dara Al Masri
My husband was my first customer”, says Intisar, a food entrepreneur selling pickles in an impoverished area in Jordan’s Balqa governorate, northwest of Amman.
To get to where she is today, Intisar had to get past a few barriers that usually stop women from entering the business world in Jordan. “I wanted to do something beneficial with my time,” says the 39-year-old mother of four.

Members of environment committee learn about the challenges facing farmer clients

By Dennis Tessier and Salihu Samuel Wamdeo
(Editor’s note: Several MEDA offices have Green Teams, volunteers who work on ways for the organization to be as environmentally responsible as possible.)
The Nigeria Green Team is an ambitious bunch. Most MEDA Nigeria staff have joined the team. They have started an office compost, plastic recycling program and a garden producing everything from passion fruit, tomatoes and hot chillies to groundnuts (peanuts).

B.C. event planner handles behind the scenes tasks at MEDA conventions

Ann-Michele Ewert works hard to be low-profile.
Not that the gregarious event planner is unhappy to chat.
It’s just that Ewert, who has helped organize MEDA’s annual Business as A Calling convention for 20 years, measures success by how well she can blend in. “If you do your job well, people don’t notice,” she says.

By Jeanne Bernick, KCoe Isom
Ask any consumer at the grocery store today what the average American farmer looks like, and the typical answer is: “A white male in his 50s.” While it’s true the average age of the American farmer is 58, according to USDA, if you dig more deeply you’ll find some surprising developments.
Women in Farming — By the
Numbers and Tasks
The number of women farmers has tripled since the 1970s. Now, according to the US Department of Agriculture, women make up just under one third of all farmers. More than a third of farm ground is owned by women and 62.7 million acres are farmed by women principal operators, according to the last US Census of Agriculture.

Manitoba farm boy beats the odds to
become a professional race car driver

As Published in The Marketplace magazine

David Richert finds it easy to connect his racing career with his Christian faith.
Given the odds against him succeeding in professional auto racing, he has no other explanation for the past 16 years.Richert animatedDavid Richert is passionate about racing as a calling

“Racing and God intersected with each other, in the sense that God used racing as a tool for me to have an opportunity to experience him for myself, and how he operates in the world around me,” Richert told an audience who attended a workshop about his life story at MEDA’s annual Business as a Calling convention.

As a child who grew up collecting eggs on his family’s farm south of Winnipeg, Man., he had no interest in motorized vehicles. When he finally discovered racing at the age of 20, he was told that he was both too old and too tall to be a race car driver.

Turnaround expert applies business lessons
to succeeding in life

As Published in The Marketplace magazine

For all his business adventures, Greg Brenneman thinks of personal relationships when asked about his biggest regret.

“In life, my biggest failure was probably not doubling down on my faith (earlier),” Brenneman told MEDA’s annual convention in Indianapolis.Greg Brenneman book signingGreg Brenneman signs copies of his best-selling book

Brenneman, executive chair of private equity firm CCMP Capital, is a leading business turnaround expert. He has served in senior roles at prominent US businesses, including Burger King, PWC Consulting and Continental Airlines.

A Hesston, Kan. native, he wrote the best-selling book, Right Away & All At Once: Five Steps to Transform Your Business and Enrich Your Life.

Female agri-food entrepreneurs share tales from the trenches

As Published in The Marketplace magazine

Female entrepreneurs are making great strides in raising living standards for farmers around the world, but still face challenges getting financing and other resources to expand.

Indiana businessman adapts to make his trailer firm
more efficient after losing a business

As Published in The Marketplace magazine

Eleven years ago, Steve Brenneman had two thriving businesses.

After starting Aluminum Trailer Company in 1999, he bought a small door manufacturing firm in Napanee, Ind.Steve Brenneman on ATC shop floorSteve Brenneman adopted lean production methods to help his trailer manufacturing firm grow

Souderton restaurant builds relationships

As Published in The Marketplace magazine

By Eileen R. Kinch

Souderton, PA — When Pam and Andy Brunner went into the restaurant business 17 years ago, they did so for a simple reason: they wanted to work for themselves.

Young Kansas entrepreneurs share stories of
lessons learned in building their businesses.

As Published in The Marketplace magazine

By Susan Miller

Yoder, Kan. — Many youths get their first entrepreneurial experience by mowing lawns. However Shane Iwashige, now in his early 30s, has reversed the pattern. After working on several unrelated small businesses — cutting firewood, raising dogs and running a small farm — he started investing in real estate and offering home services to people in the Hutchinson, Kan. area.

Shanes Professional Profile Pic 001Shane IwashigeIn July 2018 he added lawn mowing, edging and landscaping services to the collection of small companies he founded under The Rock Group. Since late summer and autumn rains kept unirrigated lawns green until after the first snowfall in mid-October, Iwashige spent many work hours mowing grass on the 170 properties he manages.

As published in The Marketplace Magazine Jan-Feb 2019

Using business to bring about societal change in North America is a complex issue that requires collaboration and tenacity, a conference for students and young professionals was told.

“I don’t know about you, but the people I work with don’t want change, said Roxann Allen Kioko, of Eastern Mennonite University’s business and leadership programs. “People usually hate change.”