Belize Natural Energy is headquartered in the Iguana Creek area of Belize, Central America. Equipped with a modern processing and refining plant is in stark contrast to what the area looked like eight years ago. Back then, the space was a scrubby field with only a dream to occupy it. That dream originated from a little Belize boy called Mike Usher who really wanted to make a difference in his country. BNE Chairman and founder, Susan Morrice met Mike 30 years ago and together they searched for that dream. The dream of establishing an oil industry that didn’t exist and providing the people of an often overlooked country with skills and guidance to succeed. However, other energy companies had explored the Central American country and found nothing but dry holes; 50 of them to be exact. This led the industry to believe there was no oil in Belize with no chance of ever finding any. Susan and Mike knew in their hearts there was. 10 years ago both of them attended the Educo seminar which gave them the building blocks to turn their dream into reality; into the invincible vision that BNE is today. Within three short years, Belize Natural Energy became the number one revenue generator in the entire country of Belize.
Today, BNE has won global awards. In 2013, they won the Education in Energy Award, which is awarded to companies that put education at the core of their company. BNE beat out 40 other countries, including Saudi Aramco who won it last year, changing the paradigm shift of even the definition of the award. They also won the University of Belize’s Green Award, which is unprecedented for an oil and gas company to be recognized for their responsible environmental contributions. In addition, they have even won the employer of the year award which is hosted by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industryin partnership with the Rotary Club of Belize recognizing the best workplaces in Belize.
When individuals visit Belize Natural Energy, they really notice the energy in the people. Most recently, an international insurance company visited and they stated very clearly that BNE was above world class standards in fire, safety and other programs. They were fascinated by the high standard of entire organization but were also struck by the sense of, as they put it, family at Belize Natural Energy amongst the 300 plus people.
Today, leaders of countries and companies from all over the world are asking BNE what is this Educo Holistic Business Model? These companies ask if BNE executives can visit their countries and companies and explain that structure that gave birth to, that is the core of, the success of Belize Natural Energy.
It was about 30 years ago when Susan landed in Belize and fell totally in love with the people of the country. It was a genuine desire to make a difference that really merged with Mike Usher, who was a Belizean boy whom she met years before who really wanted to make a difference in his country. Both Mike and Susan felt there was oil in Belize and weren’t discouraged with the 50 dry holes drilled there prior to their exploration. 50 companies had come to Belize drilling wells all over the country, both onshore and offshore and had declared, internationally, that there was no oil in Belize. However, Susan and Mike were sure. They shared the dream but didn’t really know how to begin to chase it.
Like Susan, many individuals have had amazing dreams for their countries and companies but couldn’t quite get them off the ground. Susan and Mike’s attending the Educo seminar 10 years ago was that key turning point for them that made the entire difference. 10 years ago, the mood of Belize was hopelessness and when oil was first discovered against all odds, the attitude immediately changed. Led by Renne Villanueva, the local, national and international media brought the eyes of the world to the small Central American country to an oil discovery against all odds at the Mike Usher #1 well.
Immediately after the oil discovery, Susan and the BNE Directors had the responsibility of building a world-class holistic company. Each director, manager and employee in Belize Natural Energy attends and takes part in the Educo Seminar so that they too could be in alignment with the vision of the transformation of the entire country. This transformation only occurs when every employee fulfills and fill up their building block in the Educo pyramid structure and overflows it with extraness, as they say at BNE.
It is this extraness that outsiders recognize in the employees at BNE. It is that drawing out of energy from within which is seen at every single level in every single department of BNE. For example, the administration and their work with the local community involves them truly listening to the requirements of the community which leads to spending more on these requirements. Although it costs the company financially it has led to a great relationship with that community that is vital to BNE’s success. In addition, BNE’s high standards in their engineering department attracts people from all over the world to observe this unique business model.
Every day, BNE’s loading dock welcomes over 20 big oil tankers that arrive and load up the Belize crude. Each tanker is a Belizean who is fulfilling their dream to have their own company through BNE’s assistance. BNE has helped many of them by co-signing loans for the purchase their trucks, which is how the word, the extraness, is spreading out around the community.
While BNE directors are incredibly proud of Belize Natural Energy and this beacon it has become internationally, they are even more delighted that others in Belize are replicating the Holistic Business Model. These individuals have attended the seminar and are applying what they know to chase and achieve their dreams. From Cayo to Belize City, all over the country in different forms, their dreams are becoming realities.
BNE boasts a 96% Belizean workforce and are the number 1 revenue generator in the country but the effect goes much further than that. They are tremendously proud of the fact that a wide variety of businesses from hotels to gas stations, rental cars to corner shops are all really flourishing and re-investing in their businesses and the infrastructure of the country over the last eight years.
From the very beginning, the holistic business model represented a desire in BNE for a win/win situation for all parties involved; the government, the community, BNE and the investors. For instance, BNE is the only company that has provided dividends almost immediately, within four years, to their investor group. They been lucky enough to have done this twice and are about to do it again before the end of 2013. In addition, the Belize Natural Energy Trust was set up to reach out to the community in many different ways including educationally, financially and environmentally which brings out that extraness; that creative force they are drawing out in all sectors of the Belizean community.
As it stands today, BNE as a testament to the success of the Educo Holistic Business Model. Seven years ago BNE was only a dirt field. Today, it is a beacon; a beacon that an entire country is proud of. Belize and BNE welcome, with open arms, all those who wish to visit. Belizeans are a proud people inviting everyone to come understand this holistic model and the difference this can make in other countries as well.