This blog is the first in a three-part series on entrepreneurship and the distinct opportunities inherent in creating entrepreneurial organizations. In this first piece, we will explore the opportunity that entrepreneurship provides to impact the world at large. In the second part of the series, we’ll examine the power of creating and nurturing a “Thank God It’s Monday!” culture with a team of people. In the third installment, we will look at how entrepreneurship creates the opportunity for personal, individual flourishing.
At the most foundational level, entrepreneurship starts with a person or small group of persons who see a need and feel a personal desire and passion to meet that need. I’d like to think that this personal desire and passion springs from a God-seed inside each of us. The scriptures say that we are made in God’s image and that we are designed to be co-creators with him. Further to the point, God has instructed us to “take charge” in the earth in order to join him in his grand purpose for all of creation:
God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth." God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth." Genesis 1:26-28, The Message.
This – the cultural mandate, as it has been dubbed -- is an exciting challenge. And it is one made much more difficult in light of human corruption, selfishness and lack of proper stewardship. Indeed, shortly after these verses in scripture we see the “fall” as theologians call it, when sin entered the human race. Simply put, sin and selfishness have complicated and challenged the implementation of the cultural mandate. But God has not been caught unaware; he has been acting throughout history to “set things right” as we see in the passage below, one of dozens of similar scriptures:
He will steadily and firmly set things right. He won’t be stopped until He finishes His work to set things right on the earth. Isaiah 42:1-4. The Message.
The really good news is that God invites us – through the power and person of the risen Christ -- to join him in the the work of setting things right:
The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. – Romans 3:22, The Message
The work of setting things right can take on many, varied forms. Interpreted in the modern context, each of us gets the awesome and unique opportunity to develop solutions to societal inequities, to create new expressions of art and music, and to create businesses that solve perplexing problems of all sorts. Yes – one of the ways we join God in setting things right is through the formation and nurturing of an entrepreneurial enterprise.
In fact, some of the most difficult problems in our society today will best be solved by innovation cultivated through an entrepreneurial effort as opposed to government programs or large, bureaucratic companies. Truly creative solutions to large scale issues can often be addressed by starting small and scaling up – which is the hallmark of entrepreneurship. Technologies that are brought to the table through an entrepreneurial effort can be disruptive – in a truly positive sense -- creating a new paradigm for addressing points of pain in the marketplace and in society. These technologies and ideas, properly formed and brought to the commercial market, can change the very world in which we live.
I believe that God is inviting many of you to join him in setting things right by creating entrepreneurial enterprises. Although most think of “calling” being fulfilled through traditional ministry roles, we believe that a new form of ministry is making itself available -- in the form of a company, God is offering thousands the opportunity to partner with him. For example, by the year 2050, we will need to feed more than 10 billion people. This will require a 70% increase in global food production. Improving agriculture productivity through new technologies will play a major role in meeting this need. Indeed, new approaches built around new technologies may be the only way we ultimately get the job done. At Serra Ventures, we’ve been privileged to work with entrepreneurial enterprises that are tackling the practical problem of improving farmer output through big data and predictive analytics. We’ve seen first hand the amazing things that passionate teams, led by entrepreneurs, can accomplish.
Starting and growing an entrepreneurial enterprise offers you the opportunity to serve humanity while solving meaningful problems. Growing companies based on world-changing technologies is a wonderful way to cooperate with the bigger scheme of setting things right and ushering in kingdom flourishing. In so doing, we are glorifying God, showing his light to others and making a real, practical difference in the lives of thousands.