aerial shot of crop

All In

Verdant Frontiers


As an adolescent, Scott Friesen, the co-founder of Verdant Frontiers, thought the pinnacle of business success would be a millionaire’s income.

The result was an approach where people were seen as a means to a business end. But changes in his life concerning business and his faith in God transformed his barometer of success, and with it the manner in which Scott operates his businesses. Now a dedication to work as a service to others has led him to opening Verde Beef in Ethiopia. Despite the warnings of financial advisers, Verdant Frontiers invested heavily in Ethiopia, and now Verde Beef is a multi-million dollar company that, more importantly, employs over 400 people in skill-based careers.

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Guided Reflection

Reflecting on the Story

  • What advantages and/or disadvantages does enlisting business in the fight against poverty have over traditional forms of charity or aid?
  • What could go wrong in doing business with vulnerable people? Could the profit motive lead to mission drift and/or exploitative practices to meet return expectations of investors?

Connecting to your Work

  • Scott talks about gainful employment as a life-changing experience. Have you ever had a season where you were unemployed or under-employed? How did you feel during that time?
  • Are there ways for you, in your current work context, to make a difference for those in unemployed or under-employed circumstances?

Personal Application

  • Verde Beef invests in Ethiopian communities. Are there opportunities for you to invest in communities outside of your own, the ones most in need? What would such an investment look like?

Heavenly Father, thank you for the call you have placed on Scott’s life. Thank you for the transformation of work you have done to transition the view of people from a means to an end. Thank you for Verdant Frontiers and the work it does in Ethiopia . May you help me to think about my work globally and to consider ways my work can make a difference not only here, but also in other places around the world. Amen.