Biblical Entrepreneurship Creates Jobs in Madagascar
When First Presbyterian Church of Orlando decided to bring Biblical Entrepreneurship into Madagascar six years ago, they had no idea that they will be asked to assist with the economic recovery of the country.
In a country with more than 60% unemployment rate, anything that could help create jobs is always welcomed. Since Madagascar plunged into political unrest in 2009 with the removal of their democratically-elected president, its economy which was on the verge of recovery plunged into major job losses with 30K jobs lost in the textile industry alone. Although the country is on the verge of political stability—the first elected president since the crisis is about to complete his first term and faces a second election next year—Madagascar’s economy has not yet recovered.
During our visit, we met with Senator Rajobson Johary Hoela, the Vice President of the Justice Commission, to discuss the impact and the vision of Biblical Entrepreneurship in the country as well as to seek reassurance that the government is committed to fighting corruption and creating a business-friendly environment. He not only reassured us but he pledged his commitment to help us and protect the interest of our investors. However, he gave us one condition. “You must create jobs,” he said. “Right on, senator,” we reassured him, “not only is this part of our objectives but we have already created jobs in the country!”
We then went on to inform him of the Kingdom Business Tour we just had the day before where we visited five Biblical Entrepreneurs and toured their businesses: a pharmacy, a mall operator with the second largest mall in the country, a landscaper, a quail farmer, and a furniture manufacturer. These five businesses alone have created over 100 jobs. Some of them even sponsored their employees to take the Biblical Entrepreneurship program so they can have shared values. Not only have these businesses created jobs, but due to their commitment to a quadruple bottom line, they pay their employees living wages and provide them with extra benefits such as housing where appropriate, loan assistance to start their own businesses, and assistance with their children’s tuition. Yes, Biblical Entrepreneurship means job creation in Madagascar, but beyond that it means jobs with living wages and opportunities for workers to thrive and be a part of the Biblical Entrepreneurship family.
When asked about the impact that Biblical Entrepreneurship is having in the country, some of the common responses are “hope,” “opportunity,” and the best one of all is “dignity.” Nothing brings a sense of dignity like having a job. Since 2011, when First Presbyterian Church of Orlando launched the Biblical Entrepreneurship program in partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Madagascar, they have trained over 600 entrepreneurs. Imagine the number of jobs that have been added to the economy as a result!
Thank you so much for your prayers and support which has led to jobs being created in Madagascar, in bringing dignity and hope to a country trying to recover from political unrest and isolation from the world’s economy.
– posted by: Patrice Tsague