With more than 17 million members worldwide, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing Christian denominations. While Adventist churches and schools are interconnected, Adventist-owned businesses operate independently and without access to resources or support.
Baldwyn English, Jr., an entrepreneur and mentor, pitched the idea for a booklet listing area businesses for easy reference as part of a fundraising project for his alma mater, Miami Union Academy. Though his idea never came to fruition, it later morphed into an online tool that would facilitate "business connections for Adventists by Adventists."
Launched in 2009, the Advent Business Network, or AdventBizz, was co-founded by English, Robert Corion, and Kevin Bernard as a free online network where Seventh-day Adventists could build community wealth and support Christian ministry.
"You can succeed and still maintain your faith," stated English, president of AdventBizz.com.
According to English, the site helps attract the Adventist market, generates traffic, and will soon offer an employment board, as well as local networking opportunities. There are several hundred Seventh-day Adventist business owners, professionals, and service providers registered on the site, who are primarily based in GA, NJ, CA, south FL, and Houston, TX. New York, however, is underrepresented.
"It's challenging at times to really get people to see the vision," said English who plans to focus on large cities with high populations of Adventists and hopefully double the number of registered users by next year.
In the next several months, AdventBizz will launch a new marketing strategy, which will include a series of interviews featuring Adventists in business like Devon Franklin, the Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Tristar Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.