The Leadership Center Business Program

By Dan Moore, Board Member

A cornerstone to Leadership Mission International mission at The Leadership Center (TLC) of developing the next generation of ethical leaders in Honduras is the opportunity for second year students to learn about entrepreneurship and business and for qualified graduates to start a business. 

In their second year of study at TLC, we teach four primary business courses – entrepreneurship, business planning, finance and marketing. We also bring Honduran business owners to campus for seminars about their businesses.

TLC encourages graduates to pursue the opportunity to manage and own a business because it provides a platform for influence and leadership in the alumni’s community as well as positive financial impact for themselves and their family.

Since 2015, TLC has helped 16 graduates start a small business in their community by providing a micro loan and mentorship. These businesses were of various types and in many communities across Honduras.

Each student prepares a community-based business plan in their last quarter of study. 

We recognize that entrepreneurship may not be the right opportunity for each student and we actively encourage students to get involved and employed in their communities in many ways.

TLC supports qualified students in the startup and operation of their business via the TLC Investment Fund. The TLC Investment Fund has been established specifically to help qualified students start a businesses or social enterprise.

Types of businesses that are considered for funding must be appropriate for first time entrepreneurs and must address local community needs.

Examples of businesses that have been funded include:

  • Retail businesses that fill an existing market need in a community, where local competition is not significant and consumers must travel distances to purchase the retail goods. Examples include educational supplies, dairy products, first aid supplies, and used clothing stores.
  • Personal services businesses that are provided by one person but can be scaled to more employees with modest equipment acquisition – sewing machine = clothing manufacture; oven = bakery; computer/printer= secretarial or teaching services.

Hear from one of our students, Karla Mendoza, on starting her business after graduating from TLC.