An Enterprising Couple
Bette Mignon (BS ’65) and Stephen W. Gibson (BS ’66) are entrepreneurs and teachers who combined their passions by founding the Academy for Creating Enterprise in the Philippines in 1999. Their program, designed to teach poor returned missionaries how to become self-reliant, now has 220 chapters in six countries and more than 10,400 alumni. In 2016 the Gibsons received the BYU Emeriti Distinguished Service Award. Their program now serves as a guide for the Church’s developing self-reliance program.
Steve: “[When we sold our business and moved to the Philippines], people thought we’d lost our minds.” Bette: “It was at Y2K, when airplanes were supposed to drop out of the sky...” Steve:“...and we were getting on one. We had made a list of 25 things we could do to serve. On the list was to mentor people. Another was to teach. And to help returned missionaries. And to do it internationally. I’d gone to the Philippines four times with Enterprise Mentors, but we wanted to do something different. We couldn’t get sponsors. So we just did it. We loved the people, knew they spoke English, and knew they had a great need.”