That title is quite a mouthful, isn’t it?
And doesn’t it over-reach by suggesting that empowering entrepreneurs is a solution to poverty?
Consider systemic racism in North America, conflict in Israel-Palestine, famine in South Sudan, violence in Congo, and other ills at home and around the world. The causes of poverty are so many and so far-reaching, that business solutions alone are not enough. We need multiple solutions, including the creativity and energy of entrepreneurs.
Since 1953, MEDA has been working at this by partnering with people in poverty around the world to start or grow small and medium-sized businesses. To this end, MEDA has offered technical training to farmers, affordable loans so people can start businesses, and other financial services. The acronym stands for Mennonite Economic Development Associates, and their mission is to “create business solutions to poverty.”
In November, I’ll have a chance to learn more about MEDA at their annual convention that will be held in my hometown, Vancouver, B.C. What’s more, I’ll have a chance to contribute since I’ve been asked to lead one of the seminars. As a full-time pastor, I mainly preach and teach in the context of my own congregation which I love to do, but I’m also excited for opportunities like this to speak to different groups.
This time I’ll present a seminar on Spiritual Practice for Busy People. The list of other seminars has not yet been released, but will likely include a mix of sessions on business, faith, and other topics of general interest. I’m glad to see that the convention schedule also includes a plenary session with a panel on refugee issues.
The MEDA Convention is still months away, but I’m already looking forward to it, and couldn’t wait to share the news! I only hope that Vancouver will be as beautiful in November as it is in this video below that introduces the Convention:
Writing/Reflection Prompt: One of MEDA’s taglines is “business as a calling.” In what way(s) have you observed or experienced business as a calling?
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