From aid to enterprise

The true and ultimate purpose of business is to increase human wellbeing for the glory of God. When people are empowered to create wealth in accord with this ideal they experience a sense of dignity and responsibility towards society.

Unfortunately, the wealthy tend to regard their responsibilities towards the poor in terms of aid. This often gets misdirected, breeds dependency, encourages corruption and pays little respect to local cultures/norms.

Therefore, we urge individuals, organisations and states to focus on enabling, creating and facilitating long-term indigenous enterprises, which will foster independence, dignity and a strong sense of ownership and responsibility.


Thesis Background
The activity we call the creation of material wealth is deeply affirming of human personhood made in the image of a creator God who is the owner and sustainer of all that exists. When people are empowered to create such wealth, they experience a sense of dignity and responsibility towards society. As they work for a better life they generally make life better for those around them.

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  • I totally agree. Whilst outright greed isn't good, honest entrepreneurship is value-bringing creative endeavour. The big challenge is changing institutions in developing countries. In the UK anyone can set up a company; it's quick and easy. But in Mozambique, for example, on average it would cost cost more than 2 months salary, and take about a month. And everything else is as difficult as well; chasing bad-payers, paying taxes, getting finance, and just about anything else a small business owner needs to do. So entrepreneurs in countries like Mozambique don't bother, they work in the informal economy. That means they have difficultly accessing services like banking and insurance, can't get finance for equipment, and never get the advantages of limited liability. Imagine setting up a delivery service, but not being able to lease a van, or insure the goods you carry. In developing nations, the big win would be institutions that let people do business easily.