The TAS Belize story starts in 2006 when our founder Mervin Budram was doing a two weeks training in Maine. He envisioned opening his own business that would provide employment, training, and funding for underprivileged students. Therefore, using his savings, a laptop, and a pair of AKG headphones, he followed his passion and dream by launching TAS Belize in the City of Belmopan.
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TAS Entrepreneurial Spark
In 2006, Mervin Budram was doing a two weeks training in Lisbon, Maine with the Stauron University team. Dr. John Echardt, Founder of Staron, was giving Mervin the grand tour of the community and sharing about the history of the industrial era in the United States. While Mervin was taking it all in, his mind was occupied with thoughts of the JJ Boyz club back in Belize and some of the underprivileged boys he worked with. At this time, Mervin was a full-time youth pastor mentoring & investing in the youths of Belize and specifically in the Roaring Creek Village.
Mervin was also thinking about how he could create greater opportunities for the boys & Belizean students. Then in a split second, he had an entrepreneurial spark; an idea dropped in his mind and he sketched the letters ‘TAS’ in his journal. TAS which stood for Technological Advancement Services, and the idea to create a company that would provide employment, training, and funding for underprivileged students, started flooded his mind. Mervin tucked this idea away in his thoughts until he got back to Belize and started to take steps towards realizing it.
While working a regular nine-to-five job as a website and graphic designer at WSI, Mervin Budram began to explore the possibilities of starting his business TAS (Technological Advancement Services). “It was tough getting started,” Mervin says, “I’d say the hardest part was believing in the vision and being confident that I could actually do it. But once I committed myself to the vision, I started to take steps towards it and knew that quitting was not an option.” After almost three years of working nights, weekends, and lunches to finish the jobs for what was then his “side business,” he decided to retire from his job and transition fully into self-employment in 2010.
TAS First Employee
The young TAS Belize company was slowly gaining more referrals and Mervin’s workload began to increase. Managing a fulltime job and a side business was taking its toll and it was evident the team needed to expand as Mervin was falling back on work. So in 2009, TAS Belize hired Glenn Patrick Roaden, it’s first full-time employee. Glenn was a young freelance designer from San Ignacio with a great design eye. Glenn had submitted a flyer design for an event Mervin was overseeing and the design spoke to Mervin.
The business was once again making steady strides forward as Glenn worked full time designing all day while Mervin worked part-time in the evenings, during lunch, and on every break he had. In those early days, Mervin spoke to the clients and Glenn through emails and google hangout.
Glenn worked on the TAS Belize team for seven (7) years while growing and expanding his skills not only as a graphic designer but eventually as a web developer. With the mentorship & guidance of Mervin & the TAS Belize team, Glenn went on to launch his own business ‘Visuals by Glenn Patrick’ in 2016.
NOTE: The above team members span from 2009 – 2020.
Not everyone is still working full time with the company presently.
TAS Belize Team & Influence Grows
TAS Belize services continued to grow over the years. This growth really took off in 2012 with the addition of several new services such as web design & web development, radio jingle & audio production, video production, social media management, and an array of related services.
Our team inevitably grew to match these services. We added a fulltime office assistant, videographer, web developer, general manager, and a part-time social media consultant.
Mervin, a true entrepreneur at heart, was always keeping an eye out for new talent while championing his staff towards higher heights. He would ask every new staff, “What’s your dream and passion? what’s your business plan for the future?” He would inform them that they won’t be here at TAS forever and it’s one of TAS’s goal to equip them to launch their own venture if they so choose.
He demonstrated this by jumping behind his staff when their time came to venture out. TAS is proud to boast that Susan Bedran, our office manager/ assistant for three years went on to launch Dansa Studio, a Belmopan dance school which was her passion; And David Smith who worked our video department for five years went on to launch In Awe Films, an animation firm that produced Belize’s first animation film titles ‘Tekuani & Duende.” David informed Mervin that from a child, he wanted to do cartoons. He is now doing it. Andrea Rodriquez, at the encouragement of Mervin, ventured out to be one of the first consultants utilizing the power of social media in Belize. She also launched her company Social Tree Consulting with the support of TAS.
TAS Belize is committed to doing its part in building a healthy business community one team member at a time.
TAS Belize Internship Program Launched
The quality of TAS Belize’s work, our entrepreneurial culture, and corporate responsibility attitude began to circulate not only amongst the business community but also amongst the educational circle. Students wanted to come to learn how to produce work with excellence as well as develop the entrepreneurial and business attitude needed to operate their own business.
In 2013, TAS Belize launched its internship program which attracted both local and international students. To date, our internship program has given trained students from Belize, Columbia, Mexico, Taiwan, the United States, and France.
TAS Belize Receives Entrepreneurial Award + Seed Capital Grant
Mervin Budram, Founder & CEO of TAS Belize was one of the recipients of Beltraide, Republic of Taiwan, & CEMPROMYPE series of checks written for small business owners who will use the financial assistance as venture capital and for the expansion of their businesses.
The ceremony took place at the Radisson where Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development Mike Singh was on hand, along with a representative of the Taiwanese Embassy, to present the disbursal. The assistance is part of a collaborative effort between Beltraide, the Center for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises, and the Embassy of Taiwan.
TAS Belize Rebrands
In 2017, TAS Belize made several upgrades to its company logo and colors. While the joined ‘TAS’ remained the same, a hub was added to the center of the A. The hub depicts connectivity as TAS is all about connecting people. ‘Belize digital media’ was added to the name communicating the full scope of the company’s service offerings. According to dictionary.com, digital media is any video, audio, software, or other content that is created, edited, stored, or accessed in digital form. The primary color was made black and accent color orange.
The color black affects the mind and body by helping to create an inconspicuous feeling, boosting confidence in appearance, increasing the sense of potential and possibility. Black depicts authority, strength, and stability.
Orange is the color of joy and creativity. Orange promotes a sense of general wellness and emotional energy that should be shared. The meaning of the color orange is stimulating, vibrant, and flamboyant. While made up of red and yellow, it carries less aggression and fierceness than the color red due to its combination with the calming color yellow.
Young Leaders of The Americas Initiative (YLAI)
The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities.
In August 2018, Mervin & 3 other Belizeans were selected to participate in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLIA) 2018 cohort along with 250 young entrepreneurs from all over Latin America and the Caribbean. Mervin was planted & immersed into the Boston business community for five (5) weeks at Bayan Tree Consulting under the supervision of William Neidlinger.
Great friendships, experiences, and new opportunities were formed leading up to the launch of Innovate Belize Summit in 2019 as a reverse exchange project co-founded by Mervin & William.
TAS Belize Launch Innovate Belize Summit
The Founder of TAS Belize Limited Mr. Mervin Budram, A YLAI Fellow, as well as William Neidlinger of Banyan Tree Global from Boston; with the support of Meridian International Center as well as Belizean companies & organizations, facilitated FREE marketing & communication consultation for micro, small and large companies as well as launch the Innovate Belize Summit.
Mervin along with his US Host Mr. William launched the first-ever Innovate Belize 2019 Summit at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City on Thursday, August 15, 2019. The inaugural summit and conference brought together local and international businesses and industries, government organizations, and entrepreneurs to have a dialogue on innovative opportunities for communities, the economy, and the country. Its intent was to foster an opportunity by creating a platform where individuals got together, collaborated, and discussed current innovative trends in technology. Over 100 entrepreneurs throughout Belize participated in the event.
The objective of the summit was to bring together thought leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Belize to talk, listen and dialogue about the future of innovation; To create an entrepreneurial community in Belize, and finally to foster an innovative culture. The 2019 YLAI Professional Fellows Reverse Exchange program was instrumental in making these goals a reality. Participants that attended the Summit were from across Cayo, Belize, Corozal & Orange Walk District.
Mervin & Bill spent the first week consulting with business in the Belmopan & surrounding area, dialoguing with the panelist & keynote speakers for the Innovate Belize Summit and promoting the reverse exchange program on several media outlets such as Open Your Eyes Morning Show on Channel 5, Eyes on the Nation on My Refuge Christian Radio, Love FM as well as the Guardian Newspaper. They both conducted free marketing & communication consultation with several businesses in the Belmopan area. They also got to visit the Xunantunich Maya ruin, enjoyed some of Belize’s cultural food at the Belmopan Market Square, and also connect with Mervin’s family & friends.
TAS Belize 10 year Anniversary
It takes a lot of courage and maybe even a little bit of risk to step out of the comfort of the known, and dare to venture into the unknown. 10 years ago our founder made the bold step to launch TAS Belize Limited; At that time, he wanted to create a business that would train, and empower the young men and women he was working with; and together offer excellent technological services to Belizean business community.”
Fast forward 10 years later, we’ve had the honor of not only serving the business community of Belize, Canada, USA, and the Caribbean; but we’ve trained so many Belizean entrepreneurs and assisted them in starting their own ventures. TAS Belize is what it is today because of the many awesome people who have worked with us over the years.
On the 28th of November 2019, we had our 10 year anniversary dinner with some past and present staff and their families. We laughed, ate, shared memories, and honored each other. We are thankful that Mervin’s bold risky choice 10 years had such a positive impact on so many.
TAS Belize New Vision & Mission
As 2019 came to a close, our directors knew they could not step into 2020 doing things the same way
With the help of Melanie Escalante, a vision and strategy coach, TAS Belize was able to reevaluate its direction; who we are, why we do what we do and where we are going as a company. What emerged is a vision that not only communicates the core of who we are but, just as importantly, sets the direction in which we are all excited to journey.
Our NEW vision: “TAS – The Heart of Entrepreneurial Innovation”