It is sometimes assumed that churches are all about the internal, spiritual work of discipleship or the external world of mission and service, but that there is little natural intersection with the economic health of a city. However that health, or lack of it, directly impacts people of faith and the entire population in significant ways. Some congregations are figuring out the relationship between fostering economic mobility in their churches and communities and the kind of shalom we are commanded to seek for our city (Jer. 29:4-7).
For the better part of a decade now, the CCT has fostered a social enterprise movement in the region, catalyzing new forms of ministry in churches and faith organizations that are sustainable, innovative, and fruitful in accomplishing kingdom work, through the vehicle of social business. So far, the CCT has helped to jump-start more than 50 of these, with a success rate double the national average. These businesses have generated millions of dollars of revenue for the city, and have hired hundreds of people, many with barriers. They have helped churches accomplish their missions in new ways.
What is a social business? It is a self-sustaining business centered around a commitment to solve a given social or environmental problem. It does have a financial return on investment, but it also has a social or environmental return on investment. The triple bottom line. It’s not a traditional business that only operates on the financial bottom line. It’s not a non-profit or community benefit organization that exists exclusively on donations. And though There are many types of social businesses that use different revenue models and mechanisms for delivering their product or service, they have this in common: They manage for impact, and they measure the impact. Check out the CCT’s Social Enterprise Initiative including our Social Business Plan Workshops our Spark Tank Pitch Fest and our Social Enterprise Academy to see if your church might like to investigate.
To learn more about social enterprise, please check out these four videos of Dr. Randy White presenting to a national conference on our initiative.