BPN (Business Professionals Network) is a Swiss Non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs to sustainably grow their businesses.
BPN believes in entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are enthusiastic members of society who are passionate about what they do.They are people who invest a great deal of time and effort in realizing their dreams, people who take risks where other people shy away from risks, people who don't give up when circumstances become difficult. Real entrepreneurs do not rely on winning quick and easy money on the back of their clients and employees. Instead, they are hardworking people who play a leading role in pushing countries forward.
BPN helps businesses to sustainably enter new markets, realize more growth and increase profit margins, all the while taking into account the well-being of their employees and the wider community in which they prosper. BPN clients are SMEs who have already established themselves as successful businesses and who are now ready for the next step.
When growing from 2 or 3 employees to 10 or 50 employees, entrepreneurs find themselves confronted with a whole new set of challenges. Suddenly, the informal negotiations with clients and employees become inefficient. Or the biggest competitor isn't Mister Damascène anymore from the other side of the street, but a Kenyan business man who is bringing his product onto the Rwandan market. These are hurdles that are not easily overcome and many businesses fail or stagnate at this point. This is where BPN steps in. All over the world, results show that 80% of businesses who enter our program at this stage become successful in managing this kind of growth. Even more, 50% of all BPN clients at least double their number of staff within two years’ time, whereby 30% grow to exemplary companies and factories employing 80+ employees.
How do we do this? We at BPN talk about a 4 pillar system:
Pillar 1. Our experienced staff offers Consultingservices supporting SMEs to aim for the best results possible. Pillar 2. In our Business Academy, we provide hands-on trainings by international experts on specific topics that are crucial in regards to managing a business. Pillar 3. We provide Equipment loans under fair conditions making it possible to expand the business. Pillar 4. We organize businesses into a BPN Network where entrepreneurs exchange their experiences, join efforts business- wise and challenge common problems.
To make things tangible, let me tell you a typical BPN story. Back in 2001, Dilbara, a young woman in Kirgizstan - a small country in central Asia - had a small business at home with 2 employees making traditional Kirgiz dresses. Then she decided to join the BPN program and to change her clothing style mixing traditional elements with more modern designs. After 4 years, she owned a factory and a boutique employing 40 people. Today Dilbara is running fashion shows in Moscow, London, Paris, and you name it. She now employs 100 people.
BPN has numerous stories like this to tell, involving medical clinics, bakeries, private schools, printing shops, etc. in different places of the world. Rwanda’s entrepreneurs have joined this trend and have started making their own history.
Follow one of our participants Jocelyne Umutoniwase of Rwanda Clothing: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/article/2015-07-30/191123/. Check out our website http://bpn.rw for more testimonies, news and other information inspiring your business growth.
BPN is here for you!
By: Alice Nkulikiyinka, Managing Director, BPN Rwanda