Blog: February 2019
By Bruce Main, President
When Jeff Peterson asked to accompany me on a trip to Malawi 2 years ago, I knew God was up to something significant. It did not take long to realize we shared a desire to develop a viable businesses solution in economically impoverished communities. Bringing this in to fruition entails merging Jeff's business talents and philanthropic passion with the UrbanPromise International's vision.
Jeff's day job is owner and operator of the iconic Geoffrey's Restaurant of Malibu, consistently ranked as one of the most picturesque and fine dining places off the California Coast. Perched on the seaside cliffs of Malibu, overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean. Geoffrey’s is home to Jeff, a self-built entrepreneur. His vision for kindness and truth is embodied in his restaurant and staff.
Many Hollywood celebrities, entertainers, international dignitaries, politicians are regular patrons that enjoy the peaceful surroundings and escapism that Geoffrey’s offers.
Jeff’s charities and charitable causes, helping others achieve their goals, providing people with an opportunity to live prosperous lives is extremely close to Jeff’s heart.
"In my youth I thought life was an all you can eat pie eating contest," he confesses. "But no matter how much I tried to fill myself I was never satisfied." So what is Jeff's remedy for perpetual consumption? "Helping others achieve their goals, and dreams is what I believe is God's purpose for my life."
As Jeff walked through Malawian villages, having the visual and talking to young leaders, villages where families exist on less than a dollar a day, this wrenching at Jeff’s heart strings, he asked himself what he could do to for these families and children to prosper? What kind of businesses could turn a profit and become an economic force for good in the community?
Currently Jeff works with a couple of Malawian leaders who desire to create viable businesses. Using his own money, Jeff has provided the start-up capital to launch a chicken business and a corn mill. Both projects are with Urban Promise International and affiliated ministries. These endeavors are particularly exciting as Jeff can also provide guidance and mentoring for these young entrepreneurs from the ground up.
"Much of my success can be attributed to others taking the time and energy mentoring me in business," adds Jeff. "In turn I find great happiness giving back to others."
Jeff is now challenging other business men and women to use their talents to help others break the cycle of poverty. Charitable gifts are critical and important, but making investments in viable businesses can provide long term resources for families and communities.