Political, economic, and social uncertainty combine to make Burundi a difficult place to launch a business. For many people, a small business—or several—is just part of making a living in difficult times. In this environment, Sinapis found an unusual opportunity to help build a culture of Kingdom-focused entrepreneurship.
By combining rigorous business training with Christian values in a local context, Sinapis equips Burundians to support their families, build their communities, and impact their culture for the glory of God.
Burundi Fast Facts
· Population: 12.3 million
· Economic growth average: 2.8% annually
· Population living in extreme poverty: 67%
Kirundi—a language spoken in Burundi—does not have a word for “entrepreneur,” but the people of Burundi are quite familiar with the drive required to connect income streams to provide for their families.
In a country with a high poverty rate and significant ongoing instability and food insecurity, many people have a side hustle, but far fewer are familiar with the concept of doing business to glorify God and benefit the community as a whole.
A significant gap exists between church and business for most Burundians. This division handicaps both the church as an institution and as a body of believers who are often engaged in business.
Sinapis works to give the people of Burundi a complete concept of entrepreneurship—connecting foundational skills to Kingdom business principles for the good of the community and the glory of God.
Doing business in Burundi is quite different from other contexts, and Sinapis trainers customize several aspects of our Aspire course to work with the unique strengths and needs of this population.
· Burundians love to learn! Even a small amount of coaching and training has outsized results for these entrepreneurs.
· Burundi’s culture does not emphasize individual skillsets and gifting, or the concept of applying those gifts to contribute to society. Many Aspire graduates are quite interested in this concept, and how their gifts can be used by God to benefit others.
· Due to lack of legislative protection for intellectual property, entrepreneurs in Burundi are often frustrated by copycat businesses, subsequent price wars, and corruption at almost every step. In Burundi, Sinapis seeks to apply sound business practices to these practical problems.
"Despite efforts made by the Burundi Government to improve the business environment that included creating an internal agency to promote investments and reduce the amount of time to create an official business, corruption is a constant obstacle entrepreneurs must overcome." - Jean de Dieu Bizimana, Burundi program vision team member
As a result of Aspire training, our Burundian alumni report a new appreciation of their impact and say that the course was a turning point for their businesses. Entrepreneurs are catching the vision for the ways that a Kingdom business mindset can build their communities and help spread the gospel.
Expanding access to banking in Burundi >> [Link: Sylvain story post]
Ultimately, Sinapis training exists to empower entrepreneurs to use their faith to build their communities. In Burundi, where the business environment is highly competitive and under regulated, Kingdom businesses truly stand out.
“We hope to build a network of businesses that work together, encourage one another, and offer support. We pray that the church and entrepreneurs will work together to glorify God with what he has given.” -Travis Jost, Sinapis Burundi program manager
Building sound businesses on Kingdom business principles of generosity, integrity, and trust always takes effort, but that hard work pays off in increased hope and opportunity for people, families, and communities in Burundi.
Our Burundi team consists of a handful of dedicated entrepreneurs, who work and pray that the business culture there will be transformational for the entire country. Businesses, organizations, churches, and individuals all play a major role in how the Burundian entrepreneurship ecosystem develops. By partnering with Sinapis to deliver training, your investment of time, talent, and resources helps to build a better future for communities throughout Burundi.