B4T is about bringing transformation through businesses being run by local entrepreneurs using sound business practices and who are backed and supported by investor mentors. B4T holds the view that business is a legitimate tool for the expansion of the Kingdom of God.
B4T aims to see transformation in individuals, households and communities impacting the spiritual, economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the targeted groups.
This sounds good in theory, and yet to see the practical difference B4T is making was an eye-opening experience, to see this all in action. In October this year an investor group visited a range of 13 different businesses from the 50 businesses who in the last three years have received investment and support through B4T.
We met with local entrepreneurs, pastors, community leaders, village elders and families. The local developer’s capacity was noted in his ability to communicate warmly and effectively, keep abreast of trends and changes made, anticipate issues to discuss and assist them use process and procedures to collect information to demonstrate effectiveness and educate.
Of these 50 businesses, some are only months old. 174 people are directly employed through them with additional casual, seasonal workers at other times employed for rice harvesting and the like.
Members of an Australian Investor Group have been working with this community for over two years. Changes are noticeable in the connectedness, the village atmosphere and environment. People are happier, eager to receive visitors, show more interest in keeping the village cleaner and seem open to change. Having lived under difficult political and social conditions for many years, the lack of suspicion and developing trust and respect was encouraging to see.
Their improved rice quality has been noted and endorsed by government for certiﬁed seed. Output has increased with trials of new seeds and the input of solar pumps to increase productivity. Grain yield has doubled. These farmers are now talking to government agricultural advisors regarding additional trials of corn, chilli and cucumber crops.
The community has discussed with the developer and the Investor Group how to use this opportunity to witness to their community and will hold a harvest festival in January where representatives of B4T will also be invited to attend.
The economic, social, spiritual and environmental transformation through this one business was very clear and was a privilege to see.