Community Development Visioneering

In our communities today it’s easy to see the problems of crime, homelessness, poverty, illiteracy, disease, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, abuse, corrupt leadership, and so on. What is much harder to see, though, are the solutions to the myriad of problems that are negatively impacting the lives of children and adults in our communities every day.

As I described in my last posting, Visioneering Diversity Value, visioneers are able to execute positive possibilities in situations that others only see as problems (click here to learn more about visioneering).

I have a vision to see impoverished communities economically and socially empowered through the development and expansion of minority owned businesses in those communities. My conviction is that in a country that is considered to be the richest in the world we should have a lot less people living in impoverished conditions.

I believe it is possible to engineer practical solutions that can be utilized to improve the lives of millions of people, from New Orleans to Africa. I also believe the most overlooked and untapped resources needed to improve these communities already exist within those communities.

Based on our current situation today, those of us who are committed to positively impacting other people’s lives need to start doing things differently. It is imperative that we start bringing together entrepreneurially-minded people in corporations, minority businesses, faith-based organizations, advocacy agencies, and other relevant groups to develop comprehensive yet practical plans that will empower people to improve their living environments.

This team needs to be willing and able to think beyond traditional community development models and failed experiments of the past. From an entrepreneurial perspective, there has to be a willingness to take risks and try new approaches that have never been attempted before.

The process of engineering a community empowerment plan such as this takes passion, time, strategic planning, creativity and innovation, discipline, and patience. Short-cuts are not an option. And neither are quick fixes. My idea for this type of plan would include key components, such as:

  • Providing education in the areas of business, economics, finance, and public policy.
  • Training on how to successfully develop and operate a small business or micro-enterprise.
  • Developing business incubators that can be used to expose participants to situations in which their new knowledge and skills can be applied.
  • Creating an overall atmosphere that removes barriers and establishes opportunities for success.

If economic empowerment and community development are areas that like myself you are passionate about, here are some things that you can begin doing today to make a difference:

  1. Start seeing situations through the perspective of possibility versus the purview of problems. Your perspective of a situation will change your response to the situation. Nothing is impossible.
  2. Talk passionately about your ideas with other people. You never know what type of resources someone else may have to invest in your vision. However, because most people are probably going to be more pessimistic than you are, don’t allow them to dampen your enthusiasm.
  3. Collaborate and brainstorm potential solutions with other like-minded people. You don’t have to be a “lone ranger.” You may have only one piece of the solution puzzle while someone else may have another.
  4. Start small. You don’t need a complex strategic plan to begin to implement your ideas. Starting small is probably the best way to test some of your ideas to see if they work before trying to impact a large group of people.
  5. Be the change you want to see in your community. It starts with you. Don’t complain about something that you’re contributing to or that you’re not willing to do anything about.

One of the things that people need the most, but is in short supply is… hope. They need more than just hope, though. They need hope that’s backed up by action. They need to be equipped with knowledge, skills, tools, and encouragement to succeed, so they can develop and execute a vision for their lives that is greater than what they may have ever thought was possible.

There is no problem in this world that cannot be solved with the right combination of faith in God, passion, ideas, time, money, and perseverance. The question is are you going to be a “problem-peddler” or a problem-solver? I hope you will choose the latter.

Join me today to visioneer practical solutions that will empower millions of people to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Check out these other articles related to this topic:

1) What Really is Empowerment?

2) Social Entrepreneurship Resources

3) Entrepreneurs Who are Changing the World

Tags: , minority business, community development

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About Paul Wilson Jr.
Paul Wilson, Jr. is a "Dream Catalyst" and Marketplace Pastor for leaders and entrepreneurs. He is driven to lead people to unleash God’s potential in their lives through their purpose, passions, and professional skills. He equips leaders with creative, faith-based strategies to flourish spiritually and professionally, while operating from several multi-media platforms, including TV show host, inspirational speaker, and stimulating writer. Paul is the President of Kingdom Business University, which utilizes workshops, consulting, and coaching services to ignite Christian catalysts maximize their God-given mission in the marketplace. He is the author of the life purpose igniter “Dream B.I.G. in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative God-Inspired Life!” He is also the host of Passion in Action, a motivational and educational faith-based Internet TV show for social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and community change agents. Contact us today to learn more about how he can help your business, church, or community to thrive on purpose!

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