A High Vision, A Deep Impact 

“If you give a fish a man will eat for a day; If you teach him to fish, he will eat all his life; ‘But if you teach him to sell the fish he will provide for his family and he will be self-sufficient.’ “


We strive to help members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others in developing countries launch and grow successful businesses that lift families out of poverty and put them firmly on the path to self-reliance.

The vision for the Academy for Creating Enterprise began in 1999 with Stephen and Bette Gibson. Having extensive business experience working with micro entrepreneurs in various countries, Stephen and Bette determined to learn for themselves why some entrepreneurs become successful while others did not.

In November of 1999, Steve and Bette packed up boxes of training materials, 15 used laptop computers and all the suitcases they had and moved from Provo, Utah to Cebu, Philippines. With a sense of urgency, the day after they arrived in the The Philippines, they distributed 1300 applications at a conference organized by Church Educational System for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

With the help of their friend Ed Siady, they soon found a facility for the Academy, established a bank account and hired a secretary. Daily Steve and Bette went to the post office looking for applications from returned missionaries. For several weeks there were no applications, and then came one, then two. One day they received 11. Gratefully, after receiving 25 applications the Gibsons began their training. Together they shared business principles which began lifting young promising lives out of poverty.

Thanks to the vision of Steve and Bette Gibson, today ACE has a growing presence in more than 230 chapters in the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil with new pilot programs in Armenia, Ukraine, and the Dominican Republic.


For more information regarding The Academy for Creating Enterprise, visit our FAQ page.