Evaluation: Video Case Studies from Bpeace’s Support to Dynamic Businesses 

Business Council for Peace (Bpeace) work with entrepreneurs by mobilizing their network of “Skillanthropists,” who volunteer their skills and knowledge, both on-site and remotely, to help businesses in conflict-affected countries grow, create jobs, become more profitable and secure a future for their workers and communities. Argidius partnered with Bpeace in 2015, advising 38 Guatemalan business owners (Fast Runners). Cohort 1 “graduated” in 2017, and Cohort 2 graduated October 2018. After an evaluation of Cohort 1’s performance, changes were made that included condensing the duration of the Bpeace program, and introducing a fee for entrepreneurs to take part. The changes significantly enhanced positive outcomes. Cohort 2 generated $3.4M incremental revenue, 62 full time jobs in the first year of support, vs Cohort 1 (the original model) which generated $180k incremental revenue and 32 jobs over the two years since support. To look beyond the quantitative data of revenue and job creation, a series of evaluation-by-video case studies was commissioned, to take a qualitative look at the extended impact of the intervention on businesses and their workers. A qualified news journalist was employed to interview business owners and employees to provide an overview of how, why and if Bpeace played a role in the acceleration of their businesses.

Key findings:

  • Bpeace’s new 12-month condensed model with a fee for participation yielded a considerable increase in impact: The majority of cohort 2 participants yielded positive business performance results. A few businesses that turned over <$200k on entry performed less well, revealing the level of business acumen, focus and confidence required to get the most out of the program.
  • Enterprises articulated significant changes in confidence, mindsets, behaviours, practices and culture. Increased employee engagement was referenced frequently.
  • Stories of collateral benefits include better employee outcomes, happier customers, and talent retention in Guatemala.
  • Watching each video in turn helped identify patterns of change common across supported enterprises that we (Argidius) had not previously observed. The most striking being increased focus of business owners on improving the empowerment, satisfaction and success of their employees.