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Chaz Freutel uses his gift of connecting people to spur new investment in Burkina

Even if you’ve never met Chaz Freutel, you can tell he’s passionate about entrepreneurship. A quick scan of his LinkedIn profile reveals decades of experience growing businesses and helping others build businesses. For the last 14 years, he’s helped young entrepreneurs find their footing through his organization Get-U-Connected, and at the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (“The DEC”) he manages. Chaz loves connecting and nurturing new businesses – a passion that bleeds into his support of KII.

“One thing that fires me up about KII is that I like to invest in things where the money doesn’t just get used and then it’s gone. When you invest in KII, that money keeps regenerating – it gets paid back, and paid forward,” Chaz says.

He’s referring specifically to KII’s Microfinance Initiative, a program that he and about 15 other businesses at The DEC have invested in over the years. Although separated by thousands of miles, Chaz and other business owners in Ohio have formed a partnership with like-minded counterparts in West Africa: Burkinabe men and women with an entrepreneurial spirit, looking for the connections and resources needed to be successful.

All good investors are focused on the return, and Chaz has the same focus in his approach to investing in Burkina Faso. Although the dividends look different, Chaz finds them deeply significant. “To be able to know that you’re helping build, or rebuild, a country or society, is very appealing to me. That’s very appealing to an entrepreneur. In this case, I’m not expecting a money return to myself, but I do still want to see a return on that money. It’s nice to see my investment continue in returns to the country of Burkina Faso itself, in its continued development and well-being.”

Chaz is not only an investor, he’s someone who connects people. And he has found ways to use that strength to invite others into KII’s work in Burkina Faso. During a conversation last year with Jean-Paul, Chaz proposed using golf as an avenue for inviting others into KII’s ministry. “I’ve been involved in a number of golf events, and it’s a great way to raise money and connect people to your mission,” Chaz said. “So when Jean-Paul said he was looking for new ways to support Burkina Faso, I suggested a golf outing.”

With Chaz’s help, KII’s first golf scramble was held in May of this year. The event raised thousands of dollars for initiatives like the Microfinance Initiative. During the event, Chaz had an impromptu idea to take the investment even further: “Jean-Paul invited me to share at the event, and I said ‘sure.’ And while I was at the podium sharing, the idea came into my head to match anybody who would contribute. They raised an additional $8,000, which with the match ended up adding an additional $16,000 to the amount already raised.”

Kingdom Investment is deeply grateful to Chaz and everyone who contributed to the event. What are your ideas for helping others invest in work with real dividends?

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