From Garage to Global Businesses — BNI® Celebrates 30 Years of Changing the Way the World Does Business®
When a young business consultant named Ivan Misner put together a group of about 20 people in a small coffee shop in Arcadia, California for the first business networking meeting of BNI, he couldn’t have dreamt that 30 years later this tiny business headquartered in his home office and garage would become a global enterprise responsible for the growth and success of hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide
BNI Nigeria, which is a locally owned and operated region of the largest business networking organization in the world, is proud to announce that this year is BNI’s thirtieth anniversary. This international franchise was begun by Dr. Ivan Misner in 1985 with the meeting of one small group of local Southern California business professionals as a way to generate business referrals for his consulting company at the time.
“I am humbled by the fact that today the BNI organization has over 7,000 chapters in 60 countries with over 170,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have over 30 BNI staff at our International Headquarters Office in Southern California and more than 3,000 BNI Directors working within the organization globally. I don’t believe any of the two dozen or so people present at that first meeting thirty years ago, including me, could have ever realized that what we were doing was the beginning of something truly amazing.”
Indeed, people certainly didn’t initially understand that what they were a part of was truly history in the making. The “BNI Then and Now” 30th Anniversary Video Series on You Tube features personal stories from many of these original BNI members who share just how astounding the journey to BNI’s sensational global success has been. Misner himself only began to realize almost a year after that initial meeting of his fledgling networking group that he had struck a powerful chord within the business community. Business networking and how to effectively generate business referrals is not something which is taught in colleges or universities anywhere in the world and business people are hungry for referrals. When 28 year old Ivan recognized that there was really no viable way for people to consistently generate business referrals back in the mid ‘80s, he sat down and put together the outline for a plan to fill this void; that plan has evolved into the remarkably widespread, phenomenon of an organization that BNI is today.
The organization is continuing to grow each year at an impressive rate due to the simple fact that BNI’s unique, structured system for helping businesses to grow through the generation of business referrals has been proven to be powerfully effective in every area of the world and in every business industry imaginable. This is evidenced by the 6.6 million business referrals and the 8.6 billion USD in business which members of the organization generated during the span of 2014 alone. Since 1985, BNI has generated over 42.8 billion USD in business for BNI members worldwide.
In BNI Nigeria, there are various BNI chapters located throughout the country and members of these chapters have made significantly positive impact on the local economy. Just last year alone, they generated hundreds of millions of Naira in revenue for the local business communities, making a huge investment in the growth of local businesses.
Mr. Chimaobi James Agwu, who is the National Director for BNI Nigeria, has expressed that the BNI members in Nigeria are some of the most exemplary business professionals he has had the opportunity to work with and that their enthusiasm, dedication, and support of the people and businesses within our Country is simply astonishing.
“BNI members in our Country have wholeheartedly embraced the BNI system of networking and it has served them and our local communities exceptionally well,” said Chimaobi James Agwu. “We are ecstatic to be a part of celebrating thirty years of this wonderful organization and we are beyond excited to find out what the next thirty years of BNI will bring.”
In celebration of BNI’s 30 years anniversary, BNI Nigeria will be holding a National Business Conference on doing better business and investing in Nigeria. The conference scheduled to hold in October, later in the year, will attract captains of industry, business owners and professionals from across Nigeria.
Mr. Agwu further stated that ‘to bring BNI closer to business owners and professionals, the organization in Nigeria is opening up regions in various parts of the country. BNI helps its members generate quality business through effective referral system, contacts and connections, networking education and training.
BNI chapters across Nigeria welcome local business professionals to visit their weekly networking meetings. For more information, please visit www.bni-ng.com or call The National Director, BNI Nigeria at 07026259590, or 07034554494. For general information about BNI globally, please visit www.BNI.com.
Chimaobi James Agwu
National Director, BNI Nigeria