“The most creative, long-term solutions to the problems of the poor are coming from grassroots and church-based efforts—people who see themselves as the replacement, the agents, for Jesus here on earth. Acts of charity can be dangerous because givers can feel good about actions that actually accomplish very little, or even create dependency. Overcoming a [false] attitude of charity is a difficult task because it requires givers to demand more of themselves than good will. God’s people have solutions that are qualitatively different from any other approach to the poor.”—Dr. John Perkins
Community economic development—implemented collaboratively, creatively and with justice—is critical to CCDA’s vision of flourishing communities. Join us a day early at the 2014 National Conference as we host Market Solutions for Community Transformation, a CCDA Pre-Conference, on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, in Raleigh.
This pre-conference is an opportunity for Christians with business, entrepreneurial, and community-development skills and experience to come together to:
- Learn best practices and techniques for starting entrepreneurial ventures.
- Share promising practices of business-ministry collaboration.
- Jumpstart conversations for potential partnerships to create new enterprises and employment.
- Hear inspirational accounts of business leaders who, through the deployment of their time and talents, are contributing to community transformation and flourishing.
A continuing global trend and more specifically in the U.S. is that of starting and scaling businesses that are oriented towards solving small and large scale social challenges with an eye towards multiple bottom lines. Could it be that a part of the future work of CCDA will be to help business leaders and CCDA practioners connect to launch businesses for this purpose? Could it be that these entrepreneurs and their businesses, with the proper support mechanisms in place to reduce the rates of business failure, would launch and grow meaningful places of work that sustains individuals and their families where all can flourish? Could it be that there are early adopter investors waiting for opportunities like this?
A World Bank survey of 60,000 people in poverty around the world found that the No. 1 way the poor see themselves escaping poverty is by obtaining meaningful jobs, not charity. Nearly all CCD ministries—regardless of the programs they offer, their location, or their longevity—will tell you that one of the biggest needs in our under-resourced communities is jobs—good jobs, jobs that pay a living wage, jobs that allow parents to care for their families. Parents in under-resourced communities don’t want food pantries, Section 8 vouchers, or second-hand clothing closets; they want jobs—jobs that provide the resources they need to provide groceries, housing, and clothing for themselves and their families.
Market Solutions for Community Transformation will be an introduction for some, and a deep dive for others, on the life-giving role that business plays—increasing opportunity and reducing poverty—in Christian Community Development.