3 Ways Entrepreneurship Education Can Elevate Economically-Challenged Communities
I have believed for a long time that entrepreneurship education could be used as a strategic empowerment tool to lift up those in poverty-stricken communities. I'm very excited to see social entrepreneurship strategies being used all over the world to elevate people and communities out of their financial and social distress. Unfortunately, I don't often see the same entrepreneurial energy and intentionality utilized here in the United States to help those who are challenged with the lack of access to capital, resources, and tools that can help create new avenues of economic opportunity.
Entrepreneurship education is just as valid a poverty-smashing solution in urban communities in the U.S. as they are in slums in India or villages in Africa. Even more, when entrepreneurship education is paired with Biblical principles, you have the makings of people who are not just skilled as businesspeople, they also develop the morals and character to operate a business that's profitable and positively impacts others.
Here are three practical ways entrepreneurship education can elevate economically-challenged communities:
We're on a mission to stimulate the creation of 1 million jobs. If you want to learn more about how we're using entrepreneurship education to elevate urban and rural communities, check out The (Un)Employment Alternative. We're raising money right now to bring entrepreneurship education to Cedartown, GA so we can create jobs, restore hope, and revitalize that community. We need your help. Please partner with us today!
Do you think entrepreneurship education can help you city or community? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments below...
In part 1 of Are You a Workforce Revolutionary?, I presented some out of the evidence in the marketplace that demonstrates the type of workforce revolution that is underway. This revolution may see far-fetched to some, but there are major cracks in the foundation of our economy that we have been putting band-aids on for a long time. Eventually those cracks will become a major breach in the dam.
One example of this is that corporations have been able to increase productivity while severely decreasing their number of employees. This is not a formula that is sustainable over the long-term, nor can it ignite a thriving economic recovery. Over time the increasing stress on our economic infrastructure is going to force several financial and business institutions to reevaluate how we view and approach the transitioning workforce.
The key to this marketplace transition is a mindset transformation of the employer and employee. Here are a few brief examples of what I'm talking about:
What do you think? Is this far-fetched or closer than it appears? I look forward to your comments below.
What is The (Un)Employment Alternative?
This is our ambitious plan to stimulate the creation of 1 million jobs through faith-based, purpose-centered entrepreneurship education. We are starting in Cedartown, GA. Help us today at www.theunemploymentalternative.com.
The vision of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Cedartown, GA - a diverse group including pastors, entrepreneurs, social workers, and city officials - is to use entrepreneurship education as a catalyst to bring social and economic empowerment back to a region that is challenged with crime, unemployment, poverty, and lack of opportunities. They have partnered with Kingdom Business University to provide entrepreneurship classes that will restore hope, launch new businesses, create jobs, and catalyze new opportunities for the unemployed, ex-offenders, and youth who have been unable to find viable work and sustainable income sources.
What We Need & What You Get
Our goal is to raise $2500 on IndieGogo, which will pay for the first 30 participants. The more we raise the more people and can teach. Our desire is to offer this program at a minimal financial cost to the participants, although they will be asked to invest in this opportunity in other ways, such as community service. The amount will go towards:curriculum, facilities, supplies, and other related expenses. Additional funds will also be applied toward establishing a business incubator that will provide on-going support to graduates.
We have some great perks for those who contribute at the $25, $100, and $250 levels. Just look to column on the right side of this page www.theunemploymentalternative.com ▶
Other Ways You Can Help
This project is just the beginning. We aspire to help communities around this country implement their own economic recovery plan. In addition to your donations, help us spread the word. We are more than willing to come to your city, community, or church to talk about this innovative program and how we can create a customized version for your city.
In the past few days I have come across some very interesting articles online that got me thinking that a major workforce revolution is underway and most of us don't event realize it. In the past year we've seen the Arab Spring uprising in the Middle East and the Occupy Movement around the world take center stage of the protest headlines. But there is a quiet revolution that has been brewing for a long time. It's just that our economic troubles have managed to keep a lid on it. However, the pressure is building and the economy may not be strong enough to hold it down for much longer. Check out these headlines from just the past few days...
Unfortunately during this recession many employers have taken advantage of people and exploited them for their time, talents, ideas, and money. They forgot about the ancient, unbreakable, universal principle of "you reap what you sow." The reality is we don't have a clue of the ultimate impact on our overall society if the offending employers actually inherit the negativity they have been investing over the past few years.
This revolution won't look like the other revolutions I mentioned above or revolutions of old. People will protest with their work choices. Some will choose entrepreneurship over employment. Others will choose more meaning over more money. Many will choose a home office versus a corner office. Others will choose flexibility over (perceived) security.
I'm on a personal mission to help people find their purpose in life, so they can then the career that fits them right. If this sounds like you, contact me today. I work with individuals and corporations to provide strategies and tools that lead to more purposeful, passionate, and profitable work. This is the new normal.
Are you a restless workforce revolutionary? I look forward to hearing your thoughts about these trends in the comments section below.
Ready, Set,... LOSE!
Are you ready to LOSE? Most people say they're ready to win, but very few say they're ready to lose. Mainly because to intentionally pursue losing is counter to our hyper-competitive culture of winning. We're so used to trying to win at everything we do, it's a foreign concept to embrace giving up or letting go.
In our society pursuing purpose is often associated with pleasantries and pop psychology, not solitude and sacrifice. This view of purpose isn't very sexy. It's not popular to focus on giving up what I want in exchange for pursuing what God wants. However, this is exactly what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 10:39, "Whoever finds his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." He was promoting losing oneself thousands of years before Eminem penned his popular anthem Lose Yourself.
In the context of what Jesus is talking about, losing our lives for his sake means embracing death so that we might live. Death to what, you ask? Great question. Death to your will. Death to selfishness. Death to carnal desires. Death to your comfort zone. Death to being controlled by other's opinions. Death to low self-esteem. Death to procrastination. Death to small dreams.
When we embrace this kind of death by exchanging our ideas, plans, and desires for His, we are resurrected into a life that is beyond anything we could imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9). A life beyond your dreams is waiting on the other side of your death to your dreams.
You have to DIE to your PURPOSE before you can fully LIVE out your PURPOSE.
So are you ready to lose? I hope so!
I delve a little deeper into this concept in the video below, filmed a couple years ago in front of "The Awakening" statue at National Harbor, Maryland. Enjoy and leave your comments below!
The Rich Man's Dilemma
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." ~ Mark 10:25
Do rich people have a harder time with morality than poor people? Are they more susceptible to character blemishes than those in poverty? Do people with a lot of money have more to overcome in their ethical decision-making than those who only have a little money?
Recent research reported in an article on MSNBC.com seems to answer these questions with a resounding "Yes!". According to the article, University of California Berkeley researchers repeatedly showed that upper-class individuals were more prone to unethical behavior than people from more deprived backgrounds.
Now before you start thinking I'm just automatically about to jump on the bandwagon that all rich people are evil, we need to compare their research to something Jesus said more than 2000 years ago - that it's easier for camels to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for rich people to get to heaven. What Jesus was really saying is that the task of trying to be a "godly rich" person is impossible - without the power of Christ fully at work in our lives - because the temptations of this world are too strong for us to resist.
We can look at the wisest man to ever live, who also happened to be one of the richest that ever lived - Solomon - and see that even with all his wisdom he was still unable to live a completely holy life, because he strayed from living by God's principles and standards. Now all of his issues weren't necessarily related to money, but who's to say that his financial excess didn't lead him to desire the same kind of excess in other areas of his life, specifically with women. Is it possible that God's blessings led to Solomon's downfall? Well, it can happen to anyone of us who start enjoying the gift more the Giver. I would also submit that God is holding back blessings for many people who He knows would start living sinfully if He blessed them like He's capable of. So in reality, some people's current lack of finances is for their own good. However, God doesn't want their character to stay in that place, because He really desires to pour on them mind-blowing, abundant blessings.
It's important to be clear what Scripture actually says about money. It's the love of money that is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10), not money itself. It's interesting that this verse doesn't refer at all to how much money a person has. So a poor person can have just as much of an unhealthy lust for money as a rich person might have. How much you have is irrelevant to what your heart attitude is towards money.
Fortunately, Jesus died for everybody, even rich people. The answer to the rich man's dilemma is a few verses past Mark 10:25 where Jesus says, "... with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." So, according to Jesus, a person can be rich and godly at the same time. You don't have to be poor to be pious. You can be wealthy and worship God with a pure heart.
Will there be rich people in heaven? Absolutely! Will they have gotten there because of their riches? Absolutely not! Will they be excluded because of their riches? Absolutely not!
If you are pursuing money for money's sake, you will end up inheriting the wind. It will use you up, throw you away, and then wait for its next greedy victim. However, if you pursue God's purposes for your life, He will provide the money you need to succeed.
What are your thoughts about how hard it is to be rich and righteous?
Read the full MSNBC article here: http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/27/10512938-rich-people-more-likely-to-cheat-behave-badly-research-finds
Listen to my interview with Brotha Online on CJBRadio.com. Our discussion focused on different ways the church can use practical approaches to economically empower their congregations and the community. I truly believe the answer to the economic recovery exists within our churches and communities. That's one of the reasons we launched Kingdom Business University, which utilizes Biblical principles linked with business best practices to equip entrepreneurs to thrive in the marketplace. Just click the link below to enjoy!
You can listen to CJBRadio every Wednesday night at 9pm.
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