I love seeing businesses built.
Something about it rings so true and right—the fact that one can have nothing, use what they know and the resources around them and suddenly—create value. Perhaps God was the first entrepreneur. Yes, God. At the dawn of time, he created everything “ex-nihilo” (out of nothing). It’s in his nature to create, and we, made in his image, are also designed to create.
Then brokenness entered the human story, and with it came disease, greed, crime, injustice…poverty. Poverty robs humanity of dignity and hope. It strips us of the joy of creating and mars our identity, confusing our purpose.
Over the past decade, I have born witness to the stories of thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs. Each one has a home, a family depending on them. Each one has a story of triumph over adversity, of faith over fear. Each one has a story of resilience.
More people have risen above poverty in our lifetime than ever before. Why? Because of entrepreneurship: real people creating real value, real families supported, real jobs created.
Entrepreneurship is the solution to poverty.
With one in three unemployed in South Africa, the need for work is more urgent than almost anything. Add to that the droves of people fleeing wars and poverty and oppressive regimes in other parts of Africa—fleeing to South Africa, believing for a better life, only to find there are just not enough jobs. But there is one thing they all find…opportunity.
One day, poverty will be history.
But not merely through the effort of the government or charity, but through the determination, creativity and hard work of people who have faced insurmountable odds. People who chose not to give up, but rather stand and start something.
I hope that you will be both challenged and inspired by Paradigm Shift entrepreneurs—by their hope, their faith, and of course, their resilience. Drink deeply of these incredible stories.
There are many more yet to be written.