Entrepreneurial Leaders Conference Equips Christian Professionals
On November 8, 2012, we attended the Entrepreneurial Leaders Conference held in downtown Vancouver, BC by the Entrepreneurial Leaders Organization. The event was filled with presentations by experienced Christian entrepreneurs, educators, and authors from Europe, Africa, and various parts of North America gathered to help “equip, connect, and inspire Christian entrepreneurial leaders for global impact.”
The day began with a call to recognize the value God places on the gifts of craftsmanship and creativity. Drawing on Exodus 31, people were encouraged to see that these are in fact God-given gifts, and as such, we are called to use these gifts in participation with God the Creator. The morning presentations also emphasized that wealth creation should not be seen as at odds with moral behaviour. Indeed, it is something we do as good stewards. In the words of one speaker, “without entrepreneurship you’re living off the capital of the past.”
Another major theme of the day was the importance of integrity and authenticity. Authenticity was mentioned as particularly important amidst millennial workers. People were encouraged to be open about their weaknesses as well as their strengths as a way of fostering this virtue. Graham Power of South Africa, the conference’s Entrepreneurial Leader Award recipient, demonstrated this virtue first hand when he spoke about his own ethical failings as a businessman for several years. Power later felt convicted to put to rest his unethical patterns, and eventually began a campaign to stop business corruption across South Africa. The journey was far from easy, as he was shunned within the business community and was boxed out of several contract bidding opportunities. Power, however, persevered, and is beginning to see some fruit out of his efforts both in his own business and in others who joined his Unashamedly Ethical initiative.
The conference included several other stories of perseverance and insight around faith and marketplace integration. Events like this will hopefully continue to explore ways to apply the Christian faith within the marketplace, and encourage others to do likewise.
About the Regent College Marketplace Institute
The Marketplace Institute (MI) is a theological research and design institute associated with Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. Our vision is for the gospel to be recognized as public truth again. We want to see Christians owning the gospel in all aspects of their lives, and demonstrating its positive impact at all levels of society—individuals, communities, sectors, and the entire marketplace of ideas. Through our research and our grounding in the calibre of theological education found at Regent College, our mission is to provide and embody fresh, reliable, and well-informed expressions of the gospel that reveal its truth, necessity, and relevance to all spheres of public life.