This summer, a team of Silicon Valley young professionals formed a consulting team to offer entrepreneurship training in a Muslim country.
Over a week, they met with young aspiring entrepreneurs representing select startups. The team worked with them to refine their business plans, and coached them with their presentations.
Silicon Valley Calling Card
When the program was first advertised in the spring, interest from local companies was tepid. It was a new thing and the project had no name recognition. The team and their supporters prayed hard as the application deadline drew near.
When word finally got out that the team would be made up of professionals from name brand tech companies in California, applications poured in. The Silicon Valley calling card made a difference.
Red Carpet Reception
A prestigious local institution offered their facilities for the event. All the city’s media channels showed up on the opening day. Team members were invited to speak at different companies throughout the week. A major corporation sponsored a party for the team, the participants and all the local volunteers.
The red carpet reception by the business community made the team feel like rock stars. But they had just come with a heart to serve.
Few Dry Eyes
The team bonded quickly with the young entrepreneurs. They were touched that these Americans took the time and paid their way to come help them. They could tell that their trainers were genuinely interested in them as individuals. “You really care,” they said.
During the half-day outing before the week ended, deep conversations took place on the long bus rides as people exchanged personal stories.
There were few dry eyes at their parting. This was unusual for a business training event, but not for a short-term missions trip.
After coming home, most team members have continued to mentor their Muslim friends on line.