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Jul 16, 2019

Impact Junkie hosts workshop for local entrepreneurs

The Small Business Development Center partnered with the US Embassy Belize to coordinate an entrepreneurship workshop hosted Doctor Philip Harding, Co-Founder of Impact Junkie. Harding is a speaker and former White House Advisor who teaches about social entrepreneurship, startups, business, investment, and development. Through his organization’s work, he empowers entrepreneurs around the world.  At today’s event in Belize City, Harding spoke with the entrepreneurs about new and existing business investment opportunities and how they can make an impact within their communities. Reporter Andrea Polanco tells us more.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

BELTRAIDE, through its Small Business Development Center, teamed up with the U.S Embassy to host an entrepreneurship workshop in Belize. That workshop is being led by Doctor Philip Harding. He is the co-founder of Impact Junkie an international investment and entrepreneurial development organization. Harding says that he wants to inspire business owners and change makers to use their skills and resources to make a difference in their communities.


Dr. Philip Harding, Co-founder, Impact Junkie

Dr. Philip Harding

“To understand the eco-system here for both the entrepreneurs, as well as investors, for how we can help. So, we are doing a combination of meetings. We say love, listen, and learn to understand what opportunities exist and then we are also doing workshops. We are working how to introduce new ideas into the market and how to expand across Belize and maybe outside of Belize. We hear a lot of people saying we may be small but we can have a big impact. So, there is a lot of work that we are doing together to either help them launch their business, scale their business or expand it even bigger than what they thought.”


Entrepreneur Mervin Budram is the founder of a digital marketing firm in Belmopan called TAS Belize Limited.  He is one of the participants at today’s entrepreneurship fest.


Mervin Budram

Mervin Budram, Participant, Entrepreneurship Fest

“The biggest conversation for us and for Belize to kinda get up to speed with the ease of movement of funds. I work online. I develop websites. I do a lot of ecommerce products for clients and it is really hard to get funds from outside into Belize. That is one of my passions to see that we can open that up a little more and find solutions where entrepreneurs can truly access the world as our market; as our target. Being a part of a community of entrepreneurs – sometimes we can get so locked in to our own world and space with what we are doing and we forget that there is a community of entrepreneurs out there taking the risk, doing the same things that I am doing. So, it is refreshing to be a part of a community that is thinking similar; that is moving similar and it is strengthening for me as an entrepreneur.”


Owner of Belize National Paper Converters and participant at today’s event Yvette Mahung Mazariegos finds the discussion about capital particularly useful.


Yvette Mahung Mazariegos , Participant, Entrepreneurship Fest

Yvette Mahung Mazariegos

“I am finding that every time when you think I seen it and been there done it all, you come to this training finding something new, something special that always keeps you updated and current. I am learning a lot. I am finding out more about how to obtain more capital through grants and proposal grant writing from foreign donors. It is a very valuable thing because when you have challenges to access capital you find out where you can possibly get capital. It seems that obtaining capital is a challenge for many of the entrepreneurs here. So, it is good to learn these new tricks and how to sell yourself and target your market and how to empathize with your client and try to see how this helps you to sell.”


Through the Impact Junkie, Harding says that entrepreneurs also learnt about where capital may be available and how they can access it.


Dr. Philip Harding

“So, how can we work with investors here in Belize and attract outside capital as well to help invest in these entrepreneurs to help scale up. There may be some micro-financing available or very large financing but there is this middle that can really be a big part of boosting the Belize economy and creating lasting change in the region.”


Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.


If you’d like to know more about Impact Junkie’s work in Belize, you can look for them online or reach out to the SBDC to connect you with Philip Harding.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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