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The Balance Sheet



Why would a financial services company seek to serve low-income laborers?

In South Africa, farm and other low-income, less-educated laborers are often victimized by predatory lenders. Against that backdrop, PICSA, in response to God’s call for stewardship, servanthood, and justice, is improving their financial well-being instead. Using a fee-based membership model, PICSA contracts with employers to provide financial services to their workers as an employee benefit. The result is something that looks amazingly like personalized private-banking, but with low-net worth clients!

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Guided Reflection

Reflecting on the Story

  • Why does PICSA seek to serve low-income, marginalized laborers as its target market? Why is it so service minded – like private/personal banking?
  • How is PICSA able to have a viable business with this market?
  • Is PICSA providing a lesser product/service that is profitable at even a low price because PICSA cut some corners or is it providing a “good” product/service that has been made affordable?

Connecting to Your Work

  • What drives your choice of target markets?
  • How do you make sure you are doing justice, including the underserved and marginalized/poor in your provisioning efforts?
  • How are you adding to the experience of abundance, beauty, the enjoyment of creation of those who are marginalized/poor?
  • How do you respond to the unique needs of people in the economically developing world?
  • How are you respecting and honoring persons who are different from you, racially, culturally, socio-economically?

Personal Application

  • How can you contribute to justice/inclusion, reconciliation, and restoration through your good goods and services and your customer/marketing practices?
  • Leviticus 19:9-10

Lord, break my heart with what breaks your heart and give me wisdom and courage to do justice, especially for the poor and marginalized. Amen.