Moral courage in the practice of business

By JoAnn Flett |PhD
Executive Director, CFB

During my recent Fulbright exchange, I served as a Fulbright Specialist to Trinidad and Tobago. The trip was amazing because of the catalytic conversations with entrepreneurs, and an important convening that brought together banks, government agencies, entrepreneurial support organizations and the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago.

One of the mandates of the Center for Faithful Business is to increase moral courage for the practice of business. We don’t often name that mandate. So, I thought I’d share a ‘pracademic’s’ (the practical academic) view of this mandate.

We had workshops with fifty-two micro entrepreneurs in rural parts of the country. The workshops covered understanding and making decisions using financial statements, information about access to capital via loans and grants, and awareness about the many support services of Export Trinidad and Tobago helping micro and small business owners. How does that relate to CFB’s morally courageous mandate?

It takes courage to change things for the better. It takes moral courage to design structures that support those living on the margins. In my experience, micro entrepreneurs are often on the margins of access to capital, relationships with powerful entities like banks and access to business knowledge is the domain of those who can afford it. It is morally courageous to suggest that banks, government entities and entrepreneurs can benefit from strong, trusting relationships with each other.

These free workshops and meetings created the space for collaborative conversations that transferred knowledge, built relationships, and began to catalyze trust. Moral elements like trust, relationships and collaboration underscore a heavenly vision of business. A vision that underscores God’s desire to use business as a means of building God’s kingdom.

The Fulbright trip is but one more attempt at efforts to build relationships that demonstrate God’s commissioning of business practitioners into our world. CFB has shaped up offerings via our Faith & Co films, our Pollard Scholars, our CFB Fellows and our Faith & Work library resources that support this commission.

Center for Faithful Business

Seattle Pacific University

Dr. JoAnn Flett, Executive Director

Email

cfb@spu.edu

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