If you haven’t visited the Club Asteria website in awhile, I suggest you check it out!
We recently did a redesign to the site based on our member feedback – and also because it’s always good to change things up a bit. You’ll notice that the navigation has been improved, and our drop down menus are easier to navigate.
In addition, we have made areas that are popular with Club Asteria members easier to access, and the new organization makes it easier to find exactly what you need to succeed in your business!
The change to the website required a great deal of effort from everyone involved, along with some late nights. In the end, we were very pleased with our efforts, and judging on the feedback we’ve received, that hard work is paying off.
Changing things in your business – or even in your daily routine – requires a lot of work and effort, but change can be very good.
First, changing how your conduct business allows you to take a different look at what’s going on. You may even identify some routines and processes that could be improved. The result is a faster, smarter business that achieves milestones and produces profits.
Another place to change is your product mix, evaluate the sales of your inventory and look to bring in fresh items that attract customer attention. Remember to pair traditional sellers with new products, so one helps the other.
Change can be a scary proposition, but there are plenty of places in the Club Asteria family of websites where you can read about other members’ experiences with change:
- * Our forum page
- * The Club Asteria Facebook page
- * Asteria Connect
- * Empower Now
There’s no rule that states the changes you make must entail gigantic steps away from your normal operating procedures – instead look to make smaller changes that improve a part of your business.
Wrapping up, a key point to remember is that change requires time, and waiting for something to change requires patience. Map out your changes, and then set an expected time period – this way you won’t be discouraged if things don’t immediately work out.
Tags: club asteria, entrepreneurial education, micro loans, philanthropic assistance, conduct business, gold members
When we founded Club Asteria, our goal was to help the people of the world escape the chains of poverty by providing resources and information designed to help anyone start a business.
Another goal we had was to use the proceeds from our members’ fees and other income streams to help the less fortunate cultures and people of the world.
Since our inception, we’ve gone a long way in achieving those goals, but because the need is never ending, our work is also never quite completed. That’s why we’re thankful for our members.
Club Asteria members have proven to be the most generous and committed partners we’ve found since our mission began. Help has poured in from almost every corner of the world.
There several different areas of philanthropy that Club Asteria has been pursuing, such as our successful microloan program and our partnering with programs with missions and end goals similar to our own.
The microloan program has enabled men and women from around the world to start their own businesses, where before they would have not been able to secure the small loans necessary.
In addition to the microloan programs, we’ve also successfully created micro credit and micro finance programs. These two areas are slightly different from the micro loan mission, but the end result is the same: give people the chance to be successful.
Donations from Club Asteria have also helped make the world a better place, and two of those places are Kenya and Somalia. Both geographical areas have been hit hard by drought, famine and strife in the form of armed conflict.
In the course of a year, we have donated funds used to build a machine that drills deep water wells. Fresh water might not seem like a big deal to those who live in cities or developed countries, but the communities in Kenya and Somalia have seen a drastic increase in the quality of life, thanks to the generosity of Club Asteria’s members!
The scope of our donations has definitely become broader and by partnering with other organizations we have been able to help children across the world receive the education and medical attention they need to live healthy, productive lives.
The vision and mission of Club Asteria continues to be fulfilled through the dedication and generosity of our members. For more information, you can check out this month’s edition of Empower Now or visiting the Club Asteria website.
Like Ghandi said so famously, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”Tags: entrepreneurial education, microloan program, club asteria
One of the many benefits of joining Club Asteria is access to thought leaders and experts from around the world.
The relationships we’ve created with these fascinating, and generous, personalities have enabled us to share an entire new world of ideas with you.
We’ve been hearing from our members who have used these resources to grow their businesses, and become successful despite the tough economic times we all face
That’s why we’re urging everyone to visit the Club Asteria Entrepreneur Education website. It’s open to our members and functions as an electronic resource that can be accessed from virtually anywhere in the world!
When you reach the page, you’ll have a variety of choices to make, but remember that every one of these resources is designed to help you learn and grow.
Successful entrepreneurs have tested the strategies and tactics you’ll find on this site in the real world – so you can be confident in using them!
Start your visit at the Thought Leaders page – here you’ll be able to read a quick biography of each person. You’ll also discover articles and videos created by these thought leaders, addressing the areas that mean the most to them. It’s like having a personal business coach at your fingertips!
The aptly named Resources Page contains a great deal of videos and other information that you can use in your daily business dealings. We’ve provided links to popular sites containing videos about everything from leadership to innovation. Take your time on this page, there’s a treasure trove of great ideas waiting to be discovered
Every month we’ll select a Club Asteria member and profile that person on our website. Through extensive interviews, you can learn how members just like you were able to find success, and repeat that formula again and again. Who knows? With hard work and the resources on this site, you might be the next Member of the Month!
Finally, the Business Tips page is updated on a regular basis, and contains plenty of fresh, cutting edge tips designed to help small business owners succeed. From hints on how to use Twitter to motivating employees and more, this is the page that contains information you can use instantly!
Club Asteria’s Entrepreneur Education site is home to resources and information that you can use in your own business. We work hard to update the site on a regular basis, so check back often to see what’s new.education business opportunities, Club Asteria Entrepreneur Education website, Entrepreneur Education
Club Asteria is dedicated to helping our members succeed in whatever business they choose to start.
When you begin a business, there are so many tasks to check off your list, it seems almost impossible. As time passes, and you establish a routine, life doesn’t seem as overwhelming.
However, it’s easy to forget that a business is more than one simple product or service, and that there are plenty of steps you can take to grow your business into something big!
The first thing you need to do is see where you are the strongest, and then make sure that everything is running the right way. Are orders being filled on time? Are your customers happy with the service?
With your main business doing well, take a look at other markets that are similar to yours. Are there any spaces that haven’t been filled by your competition? That’s where you want to start.
Before you take a big step, it’s vital to conduct research of this new market. Check out the competition and figure out what it takes to be successful. As always, you want to enter with a sound strategy, and tactics to support it.
If your business is virtual, it’s easy to build it with a website that carries a new product or service. Remember that cross marketing is a simple, yet effective way, to grow two separate entities.
Adding new lines of products is another sure-fire way to grow your business. Competitive pricing is a must, but you should take time to educate yourself about each new product line and its strengths and weaknesses.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to building a business is lack of patience!
We all want success to come almost instantaneously, and when it doesn’t we’re disappointed and quick to look for a solution. You know what? Many times there is no solution because there is no problem! You’re not failing, you’re expecting too much, too soon.
Allow new ventures to grow; it takes time, but as they gain momentum you’ll be happy that you waited. Think of these new ventures as struggling plants, they need care and shelter and lots of water to survive – and again the key ingredient is time!
Building a business is an exciting venture, and as you add new products and other offerings, you’ll be rewarded with additional income and chance to share that with your family, friends and community.
Just remember to be patient and keep working hard!
Tags: club asteria, developed countries, education business opportunities, financial stability, entrepreneurial education
Club Asteria’s mission to help people around the world takes on many different appearances.
The participation of our members has allowed us to finance a micro loan and micro credit program that has benefitted thousands of people in underdeveloped countries.
Recently, a small village in eastern Africa was able to take advantage of our micro loan program, and by doing so, they took a gigantic step towards self-sufficiency and a future that was much brighter than its past.
The village had been facing drought conditions for many years, and mismanagement of the land, along with government corruption and a great deal of confusion, had robbed the village of its livelihood – and threatened to turn it into a ghost of its former self.
Approaching Club Asteria, the village elder Addae, applied for a micro loan. The explanation he gave us was startling.
“My village is facing troubled times and without a successful growing season we’ll probably have to uproot and move to another part of the country,” he said. “Many of the younger people are leaving, taking their children with them, and robbing us of an entire generation.”
While he was troubled by the exodus of the younger people, Addae couldn’t blame them. “When you’re unable to feed your children, and you know that there are jobs waiting for you in the cities, it’s almost impossible to stay – plus there’s the promise of an education and modern conveniences waiting in the cities.”
Unfortunately, most of the people who leave for the cities don’t find the dreams they have – instead they’re forced into subpar housing and jobs that are physically demanding and pay very little. In addition, the loss of a new generation puts the very culture of this nation in peril.
A micro loan from our program was approved and Addae received the money he needed. At a village meeting, everyone discussed how best to use these funds – and it was agreed that seeds, animals and equipment should be purchased to bring new life into the fields that had been barren.
The younger people saw that there was hope, and many of them put their plans of moving on hold to help with the planting of the fields. Without having to answer to the government officials, and watch as time-honored planting methods were ignored, the villagers began to see their crops grow and flourish.
The harvest was a success, and in addition to making sure that everyone in the village was fed, the excess was sold and part of the loan was repaid. The remaining profits were invested in a small power plant for the village, and improvements were made to the community well.
Finally, a teacher was hired for the winter months, allowing the children to gain an education without having to leave the village.
“Club Asteria’s program gave my village the hope it needed – and we were able to free ourselves from the constant government intrusion,” said Addae. “Our young people are staying, and telling their friends who moved to the cities to come back, and share in this newfound wealth.”
Tags: eastern africa, underdeveloped countries, philanthropic assistance, developed countries, troubled times
Here in the Western world, we have a different idea of what a retail store is like. Ask somebody in a big city like New York, Chicago, or Toronto how much it would take to open up even a small retail store, and you will get a figure quoted to you in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s an entrepreneurial door that is closed to the poor in developed nations.
Most retail activity however, in countries like India and the Philippines, is informal, very small, and neighborhood-oriented. More often than not, these small retail stores are operated by family members, and usually are set up in a “shop house,” or a type of modest dwelling where the residents live in the back, and have a small store in front. Such a thing isn’t possible in most Western cities, where zoning regulations would forbid it, but it’s very common in many Asian cities.
These small shops are low-budget operations. They’re not fancy, with brand new, glistening shelves and huge refrigeration sections that cost tens of thousands of dollars to install. If there is any refrigeration at all, it’s in the form of an old, used refrigerator or two. In the Philippines, they call this a “sari-sari” store, which is the Tagalog word for “variety”. When you’re walking around Manila you’ll see this on nearly every block. No, they’re not big franchises—we’re not talking about your neighborhood 7-11 here. I’ve shopped at sari-sari stores all over Manila, and it’s a great experience. They’re very local, very informal, and always friendly. Once you see how it operates, you realize that it wouldn’t take much money to stock one of these stores, and it wouldn’t take much to set it up, either. All someone needs to do is transform a back room of their house into a shop, put up an awning, and install a few home-made shelves, and they’re good to go.
What I’ve always found fascinating about the friendly neighborhood sari-sari is that it automatically becomes a hangout. The proprietor will usually put out a few cheap plastic tables and chairs in front, and people come, buy their drinks and snacks, and sit and talk for a while.
Thirty-two year old Jesusa wanted to supplement her family income. Her hard-working husband is a farmer, but his income is inconsistent, and she needed to be able to stay at home to take care of their two-year old child, Rafael. She saw an opportunity right away, after realizing that the nearest sari-sari was four blocks away. Their simple home didn’t need that many modifications, and her husband and brother were able to transform the back of the home into a sari-sari in just a couple weekends, with some basic building materials. But now came the hard part—Jesusa had to find enough money to stock up the store with goods people in the neighborhood would want to buy, purchase a few tables and chairs, and put up a sign. All totaled, she figured she would have to spend about $750, a small fortune to a family that lives a day at a time.
When her microloan came through, she was in business within a week, and within a month, her little sari-sari had already become the most popular spot in the neighborhood! Now there’s never any worries about what to do when the farming income isn’t coming in—Jesusa’s income has transformed the young family’s lives.
Club Asteria is actively pursuing microfinance opportunities the world over, and we’re very interested in providing funds to people like Jesusa. Join us today, and start making a difference in the world!Tags: additional income, entrepreneurial education, single mother
When I first began working with Club Asteria, I learned that a significant amount of the population of our global community lives on $1.00 per day. It seemed incomprehensible and yet as I traveled to the different areas of the world, I not only witnessed the depth of poverty but grasped the notion that those who do live on $1.00 per day are fortunate in comparison to others. This overwhelming passion consumed me. What is the most effective way to help people emerge from poverty? Many people have many solutions as is true to most any problem we face; finding the answers that will help long term and contribute to the greatest number of people is the obvious resolution. At Club Asteria, we focus on the individual, his/her community, and the resources which will benefit the most.
As an investor, have you ever considered what your investments say about you? If you considered that over a billion people need a small loan to equip them to climb from the cycle of poverty into the realm of provision, would you invest? Micro financing investors are realizing the return on their money is higher and the reward of helping our global economy significantly makes better sense.
I recently spoke with an entrepreneur whose first loan was in the amount of $300.00. After successfully repaying the first loan, she was given $600.00. She has continued to repay the loans, on time, and her business has flourished through the educational seminars and support Club Asteria offers. On a personal note, I asked her what the business has done for her. Her children can go to school because she has the money to pay for it. Her home has indoor plumbing now. I enjoyed hearing her story of the night they installed her bathtub. At first she was very scared to fill the tub with more than an inch of water. It took her several attempts before she felt comfortable immersing herself. Now, a warm bath after a long day at work is something she looks forward to doing, a pleasure many of us take for granted.
Just outside of Guatemala City, I visited a family of entrepreneurs who have been with our program for over a year now. The family is in the flower business. It is Women’s Day and the concrete building which houses the florist is rushed with orders to be filled. For several minutes I just stand outside watching the flow of customers as they choose the flowers for their arrangements. The youngest daughter manages the cash register as the fingers of the father and mother prepare orders. In the back of the shop to my surprise I see one of our loan officer working the back shop, clipping the roses to display for choosing. Seeing him working beside them brings a smile to my face. When all is said and done, micro financing is not just an investment; it is an avenue to bring people together.
Micro finance shows what is best in people and brings to the table a social awareness of the world. We don’t have to look overwhelmingly in discouragement at the statistics of poverty which tell us people live on $1.00 per day; instead, we can realize the impact $1.00 per day of our own money as an investment can have on the people of the world. It is all in the way we view it.Tags: developed countries, depth of poverty, personal note, desperate poverty
Keeping a secret can be tough – you want to share it with someone, but once you do, it stops being a secret. However, the secret we have is worth telling, because it’s going to help every member of Club Asteria who takes advantage of it!
As the owner of Auto Marketing Pros, Nate is an experienced leader in internet marketing, and his secret is showing you how to take advantage of our Affiliate Program. This program rewards members who refer their friends and business associates to Club Asteria – when that person becomes a member, you receive a monthly financial reward!
Once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to Nate’s personal coaching, training videos and other resources. He’ll hand you tips, tricks and strategies that unlock the door to success with Club Asteria!
We’re happy to be partnering with Nate Bloom, and his resources and experiences are going to help out Club Asteria members who are interested in succeeding. The extra income you generate with Nate’s guidance will improve the lives of your family members, friends and members of the community.Tags: personal coaching, extra income, club asteria, level member, innovative programs, internet marketing
Whenever I entertain my friends with tales of my travels throughout the world, they always love to hear about exotic, tropical locales like Thailand. Nobody ever questions why I would want to spend time on a tropical island, but when I turn the discussion to my last trip to Beirut, there’s a different reaction. “Beirut?!” they say. “Why on earth would anybody want to go there?”
Of course, they’re thinking of the war and destruction that has gone on in recent years, but since then, Beirut has been rebuilt and restored to its former glory. It has for centuries been a major center for culture and commerce, and one of the great jewels of the middle east. And yes, people really do go on vacations there.
Traveling to exotic destinations though isn’t all about luxurious hotels and five-star restaurants. It’s great to enjoy those things, but one of the most enlightening things about traveling is being exposed to how the rest of the world lives. Sometimes people who have traveled to places like Beirut are shocked at the levels of poverty and desperation they see. That’s not what they signed up for—they just want a few palm trees and a tropical rum drink served in a coconut shell. But that’s the reality, and it’s important to see it.
In Beirut, despite the rebuilding and the wonderful tourist destinations, there is still poverty—poverty that you will not see in much of the West. Poverty that will shock you. An article in today’s Daily Star, a Lebanese newspaper, gives us some insight and some hope into the situation there. Microcredit is starting to reach Beirut and the rural areas of Lebanon, offering hope in the form of small loans to poor families. According to the World Bank, Lebanon’s microloan portfolio now stands at about $50 million, with somewhere between 38,000 and 55,700 active clients. Sounds impressive, until you read the World Bank report a little further, which says that the number of eligible borrowers in that area is about 190,000. There’s still a long way to go and a lot of people to reach.
If you’re on the tourist path, you won’t see much of that desperate poverty, and in fact, Lebanon is one of the wealthier nations of the Middle East. But there is a disparity, and about 28 percent of the population falls under the UNDP’s poverty line of about four dollars a day. The article in the Star relates the story of two microcredit clients who have done well for themselves. Hajjeh, a Syrian woman in her mid-sixties, uses microcredit funds to buy make-up which she re-sells on the street; and Amal, a young Palestinian mother of three, makes delicious Arabic sweets to sell. How I love Middle Eastern sweets. I wish I were there to sample them! Remarkably, both of these ladies are now earning about $100 a week in their new small businesses.
Club Asteria supports microcredit programs like this, helping to lift people out of poverty the world over. Please join us today, and help support our efforts to bring prosperity to the world.Tags: former glory, daily star, coconut shell, world bank, poor families
Some of the poorest people in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa. Here, small things make a big difference. A few dollars from a middle-class American family may mean very little, but contributed to an African aid agency on a regular basis, may mean the difference between life and death. But how do you sustain that over the long run? Where there is need, aid must be given. But it doesn’t really address the root problem—what is causing that desperate poverty. Microfinance programs targeted at these extremely poor areas not only help feed starving families, they help them find ways to help themselves.
Part of the challenge is finding people to fund these microfinance programs, but the bigger challenge is making people in the poor targeted communities aware that the opportunity exists for them. Even when the money is available, many individuals in the poorest communities just don’t know it’s there.
A Gallup poll asked whether residents of sub-Saharan African countries whether they were aware of microfinance opportunities in their communities. At the top of the response curve, a majority of residents of Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, and Senegal indicated that they were aware of the programs. But residents of Ivory Coast, Congo Kinshasa, and Zimbabwe were a lot less likely to be aware of the programs’ existence.
What does all this mean? Statistics are interesting, but there are people behind them. The poorest, and least educated groups of people who need microfinance programs the most, are least likely to know about the opportunity. The Gallup poll indicated that there were 6.5 million microfinance borrowers in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2008, and this is heartening. But, this represents only three percent of the potential market—so there’s a long way to go.
We need to create more microfinance programs, and encourage more people to fund them; but more importantly, we need to make a better effort to reach the groups that need them. Can you imagine what it must be like to be living in desperate poverty, watching your children slowly starving to death, thinking that there is no way out—and then getting wind of a microfinance program that could help you feed your family? What wonderful news that would be! Outreach programs throughout Africa are starting to get the word out, and expanding the role of microfinance throughout the continent.
But microfinance is more than money, and the effects of these programs go far beyond simply giving people the means to generate a modest income. That in itself is noble enough—but it’s just the beginning. It’s about restoring people’s self-worth and self-respect. In places where rape is an everyday part of warfare, the female victims continue suffering in so many ways, sometimes even being rejected by their own communities and their own families. But it’s amazing what a little self-esteem can do for a person. In the Congo, I’ve seen how these programs go far beyond their intended goal—giving women back their position in society, and restoring their self-worth after falling victim to this horrible crime.
The money itself isn’t the vehicle of restoration, it’s the empowerment that it brings. In this way, these microcredit programs bring far more benefit than was even intended. Club Asteria is actively working to promote microcredit programs in the poorest parts of Africa, and I’ve had a chance to see some of these amazing success stories, where poor women have received not only a means of income—but restoration of their identities. I encourage you to continue to support our efforts to bring self-respect to the world’s poorest and most unfortunate people.