Entrepreneurs in Any and Every Domain
Presented by the: All Saints Church Men Society
Who are the Entrepreneurs of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago?
Let us look at the Book of Common Prayer page 402: Paragraphs 78 & 79.
Who are the Ministers of the Church?
Laypersons, Bishops, Priests and Deacons.
What is the Ministry of the Laity?
The Ministry of Laypersons is to represent Christ and His Church. To bear witness to Him wherever they maybe and according to the gifts given to them. To carry out Christ work of reconciliation to the world. To take their place in life, worship and governance of the church, and to use their God given talents to build the church, all ministries in the church, and the world.
We conclude for the basis of this article that, the Laity are the entrepreneurs of the church and their direction, purpose, tenacity, capacity and commitment will result in building the body of Christ.
The frequency with which the word entrepreneurship is appearing in public statements from different institutions when stating their overall goals and objectives is encouraging, but a bit worrisome. The new University of Trinidad and Tobago has the development of entrepreneurship as one of its objectives, so too, the Tobago house of Assembly.
The first conceptual problem is actually deriving a workable definition of entrepreneurship. We would like to suggest a definition which is worth considering for developing public policy on entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago. Entrepreneurship is an innovative, value adding activity. It is a continuous activity and involves mobilizing resources and organizing to improve the well being of the individual, organization, community or country in ways that are sustainable.
The term and concept of entrepreneurship is not clear as there are a number of definitions. It was introduced into the economic theory by CANTILLON around 1755, but the term was first accorded prominence around 1803. It was translated into English as, a merchant, adventurer or employer, though the precise meaning of the term is “undertaker of projects.”
In the 1950’s & 1960’s the International Labour Organization (I.L.O) in an attempt to develop small business programmes for developing countries, derived a list of essential personality traits of successful entrepreneurship.
The word entrepreneurship stems from the French word entrepredre, which, when translated, means “to embark upon or undertake.” In everyday general usage an entrepreneur is a businessman (the word man should be taken as gender neutral meaning, man and woman).
The definition, as outlined by Edith Penrose is termed “the resource based review.” The creative leveraging of these man-made resources to allow exploitation of any market organization must come in the form of products and or services, which hold any of the following qualities; they must be valuable or enable the creation of value and added value and must be sustainable.
Today the approach of the study of entrepreneurship adopts a functional approach and therefore focuses on the task the entrepreneurs has to perform and, is also bound in the specific culture and context within which the entrepreneur has to operate. Whether it is a business organization or the various ministries of the church. Whether diocesan or provincial.
The philosophy of the action most has extended itself so that we have social, family, religious and business organizations to name a few.
Some of the functions of the various types of entrepreneurs may, or will include innovations, opportunity, commanding resources, risk taking and building of different types of organizations. Schumpeter since 1934 made innovations and capacity building the core function of the entrepreneur. He identified six (6) types of entrepreneurs, the introduction of a new good, the new method of production, the new method of communicating, the opening up of new markets, the conquest of new materials and the creation of new types of organizations.
There are a number of entrepreneurs we can identify but the list is too exhaustive, we would list a few for your consideration. These are as follows;
(a) Social & Religious
We would consider all attributes the above group of entrepreneurs would require in this changing world of ours or within our own environment.
We need to have the following to ensure the capacity building and new wine vineyard to achieve its goals and objectives as follows;
(a) Vision: The ability to see the dream fulfilled.
(b) Goal Setting: The ability to establish definiteness of purpose.
(c) Risk Taking: The ability to take risk and ownership of our outcomes. The desire to create our own future in the diocese and the recent ordination of the fifteen (15) deacons and the six (6) persons attending Codrington College of Theology, and to reverse the trend which seems to be embedded in the diocese.
(d) Drive: The burning desire to succeed in all we undertake.
(e) Confidence: The ability to believe in ourselves and reverse the current trend, as we have dwindling priests and dwindling parishioners.
(f) Perseverance: The refusal to quit… Keeping focused on goals, despite the obstacles.
(g) Adaptability: The ability to cope with new situations and find innovative and creative solutions to our current problems.
The two dimensions of sustainability and well being included in these definitions are in order to add moral and developmental dimension to entrepreneurship, this is absolutely necessary. In contrast, there are those who would argue for a no-holds barred “survival of the fittest” notion of entrepreneurship, where they are mainly concerned with business competition. This form of unbridled capitalism has however given us the Enron, Parmalats, Martha Stewart of the world.
Today it is clear that we do not wish to encourage entrepreneurship, which is destructive of the environment or injurious to the physical health of citizens. The enlightenment philosophers who espoused that the “general good of all will be attained when each is allowed to pursue his/her own happiness” assumed the existence of a strong moral framework to guide the actions of men. Spencer and Summer who became associated with Social Darwinism were religious. Adam Smith noted as the founding father of free market economics for instance, was a professor of moral philosophy.
The issue of profit seeking can be contentious. Within the moral/legal framework that is shared by society, entrepreneurship can become quite a noble calling. Even within a socialist framework, firms and all other organizations must make a surplus. Within our society, we are challenged to give legitimacy to the goal of “profit-making”. This is necessary if we wish to encourage entrepreneurship across a wide spectrum of our society. Given the history of our society, as a colonial slave society, the experience of business shared by all groups may be limited and limiting. We need an ideology of entrepreneurship which is liberating of human potential. We have to change the images of businesses possessed by a lot of our young people in the society if we are to encourage entrepreneurship, and we cannot confine the notion of entrepreneurship to traditional businesses.
Perhaps, this is a critical way for us in an attempt to build a culture of entrepreneurship throughout society. The fact is that, entrepreneurship can be developed in many areas in which human beings can add value. Sportsmen can be entrepreneurs as they may form businesses and enter the growing keep-fit business. Students of music may also consider how to enter the music industry. Medical students may consider how their knowledge and skills can be channelled into the health business. Students of literature may consider how the skill of writing can be used to produce written materials for production and sale, and church organizations at all levels.
In addition, the moral values where there is a developmental dimension to entrepreneurship, must concern us. That is, the need to unlock the economy from its dependence on the main export. For our own survival in the long term we have to promote entrepreneurship which can focus on creative potential and hidden resources which we possess as a people, with a unique culture and experience. This would ensure our viability and prosperity in the future.
So across a broad spectrum of our society we have to develop: the capacity, tenacity and propensity to read into the future and anticipate things before they happen; the ability to interpret reality in novel ways; the will habit, commitment and responsibility for taking action in advance; the drive to make profit or surplus and the commitment to promote the well being of our society.
In terms of implanting policy, this implies something different for a university, compared to a small business development company, a technical/vocational institute or an institute involved in educating business managers. We can promote entrepreneurship from primary school level and continuing throughout all levels of the secondary school system. We can also promote it from the top down by assisting university students and other graduates to form start up companies. All of these interventions require careful thought, not to mention a framework of facilitating institutions.
The first educational requirement however is the education policy makers at all levels. Universities, banks, insurance, government, education, NGO’s, organizations directly concerned with the promotion of entrepreneurship and other private sector agencies and managers of companies. If at this enabling level there are misconceptions, then the promotion of entrepreneurship will be constrained. Some of these popular misconceptions are: some groups in society have the “head” for entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs are born not made; the place for teaching entrepreneurship is in management schools and through business studies subject areas; redundant workers can be made entrepreneurs with some courses in business management.
A number of forces now combine to make promotion of entrepreneurship especially central to the development and sustainability of our economy and our society. The use of modern communication technologies also contribute to the evolution of a borderless world of trade and commerce and to the liberalization of trade throughout our regions and internationally.
The evolution of work in modern industries is such that the worker is now called upon to be entrepreneurial. Semi-autonomous work teams in many plants in high-tech industries now managing without first-line supervisors; determine their own work space with parameters set by management; have a choice in hiring and firing team members; conduct their own quality control; and schedule their own vacations. In this more unstable world of work there is less job security and so workers have to be more calculating in the sale of their services. Workers in this new era are called upon to be entrepreneurs.
Finally what does all this mean for the religious entrepreneur and especially within the confines of the Anglican Church in the diocese of Trinidad & Tobago as we have the capacity building project and the vision of the new wine vineyard, and how does these visions intertwine to achieve the desired results of the new wine vineyard?
In order that we should reverse the trend we so often hear about from our pulpits and to combat the constant continual decline by those seeking to be ordained into the sacred ministry and the parishioners we suggest the following.
(a) Leadership Qualities:
In order for the new wine vine yard to be successful we must maintain a positive outlook. Emotionally and socially ready to lead and must be prepared to make tough decisions and take full responsibility for the outcome. We must maintain a positive outlook in the face of challenges and difficulties and keep looking forward to achieve our vision. This quality will attract our fellow parishioners to work hard, side by side and to build our dream leadership to the achievement of our success.
We need to be creative and innovative within our own community and challenge ourselves to put fear aside and allow our ideas and creativity to flow. We need to recognise innovation as our core function.
Innovation gives use to other behaviour and endeavours.
What’s your commitment? Love enables both nature and innovative. It entails affections, passion and discipline it requires the heart, mind, body and soul
(d) Forward looking:
We must be future orientated and have little time to look back. The mind should be different from the average person; they like to babble about past trends and events.
We will have to be forward looking today, tomorrow and into the foreseeable future then the potential can be developed.
A clear defined vision; once they are defined, we would then be able to articulate, share and live it. The vision may come to you anywhere or place. We must be able to recognise and commit to it and have a dogged belief in our abilities for achieving our vision.
(f) Adding Value:
We must be able to see things in a novel way and add value, which involve recognizing opportunities, commending resources, building organizations, and taking risk which represents a whole range of attitudes and a full range of competencies.
In order to completely achieve the above and transform the entire diocese as an effective, efficient, competent and forward looking force we must now “walk the walk,” to ensure the goals and aspirations of the capacity building and the new wine vineyard be fully realised.