We all want to our lives matter. We want our life to have purpose, for our story to be important, our dreams to count and for our voice to be heard. It’s how we were created. It doesn’t matter what your race, sex or economic background, we all want to find our purpose in life.
It has been my pleasure over the past few years to watch Beth Meadows, the Supply Hope founder and CEO find her purpose. Beth has been a successful entrepreneur for more than 20 years and has bought, sold and created many successful business. In her business ventures, she built franchises. She loved creating businesses that could be replicated then equip others to fulfill their dream of operating their own business. Over and over I have watched her encourage, invest and enable people’s dreams to come true. I have also seen her willingness to serve others grow to the point that it literally is impacting thousands.
When I first met Beth, she was volunteering at our local church. She had been using her gifts to serve locally and had also been volunteering nationally with a prison ministry helping prisoners that were nearing the end of their sentence write business plans then compete to have those plans funded. As she continued to walk this path, she also had a strong desire to use her gifts and experience to serve those living in poverty in developing countries. She continued to seek advice and visit NGO’s in Latin America trying to discern what she was being called to do. On one of her trips to Nicaragua, she saw the impact that poverty had on children and it broke her heart. She continued to ask questions and research other organizations that were addressing the many causes of poverty. What she kept feeling in her heart was that one of the greatest needs of the poor was a way to earn a living.
Over the next year, she listened and prayed about how her gifts and experience could be used to serve those living on less than $2 a day in Nicaragua. She gathered a team of advisors then did what she has done numerous times in the past… she created a new business but this time it was a 501(C)(3) social enterprise, a micro-franchise in Nicaragua. A micro-franchise is a small franchise that applies the basic principles of franchising to provide opportunities for people living in poverty to operate a proven, sustainable, business resulting in a steady income. The first micro-franchise that Supply Hope has launched is called Mercado Fresco or “Fresh Market”. Mercado Fresco sells nutritious and affordable foods such as cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs, vegetables and bread through home-based stores in low-income neighborhoods in Managua, Nicaragua. There are currently 52 stores and over 12,000 people have been served, incomes have been raised from less than $2 a day to approximately $8 a day and 85,000 lbs of fresh, nutritious food distributed in low income communities.
Beth has found her purpose.