3 Ways Entrepreneurship Education Can Elevate Economically-Challenged Communities

I have believed for a long time that entrepreneurship education could be used as a strategic empowerment tool to lift up those in poverty-stricken communities. I’m very excited to see social entrepreneurship strategies being used all over the world to elevate people and communities out of their financial and social distress. Unfortunately, I don’t often see the same entrepreneurial energy and intentionality utilized here in the United States to help those who are challenged will lack of access to resources and tools that can help create new avenues of economic opportunity.

Entrepreneurship education is just as valid a poverty-smashing solution in urban communities in the U.S. as they are in slums in India or villages in Africa. Even more, when entrepreneurship education is paired with Biblical principles, you have the makings of people who are not just skilled as businesspeople, they also develop the morals and character to operate a business that’s profitable and positively impacts others.

Here are three practical ways entrepreneurship education can elevate economically-challenged communities:

  1. Sense of Ownership: Embedded within an entrepreneurial mindset is a sense of ownership. Entrepreneurs who operate businesses within a community usually have a heightened desire to take accountability for what happens in that community, because they know they need that community to succeed if their business is going to be sustainable.
  2. Sense of Purpose: Without a revelation of their purpose and significance, people cast off restraint and run wild (Proverbs 29:18 NIV). When people have no sense of purpose, they lose hope and stop caring about themselves and the people around them. Entrepreneurship education helps ignite the purpose in people to pursue something greater than what they may see around them everyday. Entrepreneurship education is an incredible platform to transport people from where they are to their God-ordained destiny.
  3. Creative Energy: People in poverty-stricken areas don’t lack creativity, they are just using their creative abilities far below the purpose for which God created them. Entrepreneurship empowerment can help people use their ingenuity beyond just basic survival or even criminal pursuits. Creative energy that wasn’t being used previously or being used for the wrong things are now channeled in a positive, beneficial direction for themselves and others.

We’re on a mission to stimulate the creation of 1 million jobs. If you want to learn more about how we’re using entrepreneurship education to elevate urban and rural communities, check out The (Un)Employment Alternative. We’re raising money right now to bring entrepreneurship education to Cedartown, GA so we can create jobs, restore hope, and revitalize that community. We need your help. Please partner with us today!

What do you think? How can entrepreneurship education help your city or community?


Fulfill your purpose in the marketplace!

Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

KBU Partners with Local Community to Launch Innovative Jobs Program

What is The (Un)Employment Alternative?

This is Kingdom Business University’s (KBU) ambitious plan to stimulate the creation of 1 million jobs through faith-based, purpose-centered entrepreneurship education. We are starting in Cedartown, GA. Help us today at www.theunemploymentalternative.com.

The Impact
The vision of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Cedartown, GA – a diverse group including pastors, entrepreneurs, social workers, and city officials – is to use entrepreneurship education as a catalyst to bring social and economic empowerment back to a region that is challenged with crime, unemployment, poverty, and lack of opportunities. They have partnered with Kingdom Business University to provide entrepreneurship classes that will restore hope, launch new businesses, create jobs, and catalyze new opportunities for the unemployed, ex-offenders, and youth who have been unable to find viable work and sustainable income sources.

What We Need & What You Get
Our goal is to raise $2500 on IndieGogo, which will pay for the first 30 participants. The more we raise the more people and can teach. Our desire is to offer this program at a minimal financial cost to the participants, although they will be asked to invest in this opportunity in other ways, such as community service. The amount will go towards:curriculum, facilities, supplies, and other related expenses. Additional funds will also be applied toward establishing a business incubator that will provide on-going support to graduates.

We have some great perks for those who contribute at the $25, $100, and $250 levels. Just look to column on the right side of this page www.theunemploymentalternative.com ▶

Other Ways You Can Help
This project is just the beginning. We aspire to help communities around this country implement their own economic recovery plan. In addition to your donations, help us spread the word. We are more than willing to come to your city, community, or church to talk about this innovative program and how we can create a customized version for your city.



Fulfill your purpose in the marketplace!

Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

Schools Kill Creativity

Intriguing video on how the current educational system kills creativity in students…

Thrive on purpose,

Paul Wilson, Jr.


Fulfill your purpose in 3D!

Are you aware that up to 97% of Christians surveyed disclose that they don’t hear sermons or messages that specifically connect their work life to their spiritual life? Are you one of them? If so, Dream B.I.G. in 3D will be the missing link for you to activate your gifts, find your niche, and fulfill God’s calling for you in the workplace.

This highly regarded book is a powerful tool to help you align your purpose, passions and professional skills. Learn more at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

Youth in Revolt

When people are disrespected, disregarded, or dismissed for a long period of time, they eventually will do desperate things. I believe this is even more true with youth and young adults. In addition to the unrest currently happening in Egypt, over the past 18 months we have seen riots – often led by young and very passionate leaders – break out  in Tunisia, Iran, France, and other places.

I know there are a multitude of complicated factors that come into play with each of these countries. However one common thread in all of them is a sense of economic desperation. The opportunity to work gives young (and old) people a sense of dignity and the possibility of upward mobility. Without those opportunities the walls of poverty and despair seem close in and suffocate the hope out of people. Where there is no vision – hope for the future – people die from the inside out. Furthermore, youthful passion that is not channeled in a purposeful and positive direction will turn dangerous.

How does this relate to the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 51.1% of Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 years old were unemployed in July 2010. This marks the first time since 1948, when the government first started collecting this data, that less than half of all U.S. youth were employed in July. And this is not just an American problem. Check this out from the Wall Street Journal (April 14, 2010):

But rising youth unemployment is not just an American problem, points out  a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Across the 30 OECD countries, there are nearly 15 million unemployed workers aged 15-24 — four million more than at the end of 2007. In France and Italy, one in four young workers are unemployed; in Spain, 40% are jobless.

Youth unemployment is a global powderkeg that is just waiting for the right spark to turn a bad situation even worse, which we can see happening in Tunisia, Egypt, and other places around the world. The approaches world governments use to create jobs apparently are not working. I believe we need a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship in the U.S. and throughout the world. More focus, money, and education needs to be invested in entrepreneurship-based programs for younger and older unemployed workers.

We can no longer downplay the major roadblocks to success that the youth of this generation face today. Otherwise, the images that we see coming out of Egypt this week could be replayed in other countries around the world, and maybe even the United States.

What are some things you think could be done to alleviate youth unemployment?


Fulfill your purpose in 3D!

Are you aware that up to 97% of Christians surveyed disclose that they don’t hear sermons or messages that specifically connect their work life to their spiritual life? Are you one of them? If so, Dream B.I.G. in 3D will be the missing link for you to activate your gifts, find your niche, and fulfill God’s calling for you in the workplace.

This highly regarded book is a powerful tool to help you align your purpose, passions and professional skills. Learn more at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

Conscious Capitalism

In this time in history increasingly more people and organizations are realizing the incredible benefits of using business as a transformational agent for individuals and communities. A new organizational structure called a “B Corporation” is the latest example of businesses intentionally implementing progressive strategies and practices to leverage their business for good…

What do you think about this concept of a “B Corporation”? Would you structure your business like that?

Thrive on purpose,
Paul Wilson, Jr.


Dare to dream again in 2010!

Register for the Dream B.I.G in 3D Live Workshop! on April 17, 2010For more details please visit www.PaulWilsonJr.com


The 3C’s of Social Networking

For any small business to grow, it needs to continually extend its reach, enhance its relevance, and expand its relationships. Social networking is a critical tool that will help you do each of these things to build a “community of conversations” with your current and prospective customers.
Most entrepreneurs can identify with needing the 3C’s of life – being calm, cool, and collective. However, these are not the only 3C’s entrepreneurs need to be familiar with. The 3C’s I’m talking about relate to the three positive benefits I have experienced since strategically incorporating social networking into my business activities:
  1. Connections – I can find and virtually “meet” more prospective customers in shorter amounts of time. I have also reconnected with many friends and acquaintances from high school and college who now are also potential customers.
  2. Communication – I can build my brand more easily, effectively and inexpensively through the key messages I disseminate to my target market by using these technologies. Also, because they are accessible from my Blackberry, I’m able to do it without being tied down to my laptop.
  3. Collaboration – I can brainstorm new ideas in real time with other entrepreneurs and individuals to develop new solutions and business applications.
The main social networking platforms I use are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I have had a LinkedIn profile for a couple of years, but I didn’t fully leverage its capabilities until recently. I just started using Facebook and Twitter earlier this year. These tools have benefited my business tremendously in a short amount of time.
A social networking strategy needs to be in the toolkit of every small business owner. If you need some help getting started, check out these articles:
Don’t underestimate the power of social networks to be potential launching pads for new business opportunities.

Dream B.I.G.,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

re:Positioning Entrepreneurship

Love thy customer?

Why are you an entrepreneur? What is your driving motivation? What meaningful purpose does your business serve? How does your business positively impact society?

Over the past couple of days I’ve been having some interesting thoughts and conversations concerning how I view current and potential customers. Here’s a few of my thoughts:

  1. You attract who you love. It’s amazing how significant your influence can be when you love and serve people unconditionally.
  2. Loving your customers profitably creates sustainability.
  3. Loving your customers goes beyond just caring for them. It’s providing products and services in their best interests – profitably.
  4. Love-leveraged influence is a powerful approach for those looking to use their giftedness and creativity to benefit others.
  5. Creatively applying your talents to bring solutions to other people’s problems can result in unexpected opportunities.
  6. The greater your capacity to love and the more you apply your talents to others’ problems, the larger your network and opportunities can grow.

Entrepreneur on Purpose

The challenges that our society is currently facing present incredible opportunities for a different kind of entrepreneur – a mission-driven entrepreneur. In one of my blog posts a couple years ago I defined a mission-driven entrepreneur as one who pursues and fulfills their life mission (purpose) through the operation of an enterprise that seeks to maximize profits while positively impacting social issues.

Based on the conversations that I’ve been having with multiple people lately, I believe lots of people are going through a search for meaning, including entrepreneurs. The things they used to care about or take for granted don’t seem to mean as much to them any more. The amount of money they make isn’t quite as big of a deal as it used to be. They are searching for something deeper than success. They are searching for significance.

One way to help people find meaning and significance through their business is to help them discover their purpose. Then their business is positioned to be an extension or expression of their purpose.

The process of discovering one’s purpose, which some people refer to as “life planning”, is similar to the process of developing a strategic business plan. A strategic life plan will equip you with the perspective, passion and motivation to operate your business in a way that fulfills your life purpose.

I believe entrepreneurs need a business plan and a life plan in order to be successful in all areas of their lives – financially, spiritually, physically, relationally and socially.

I am passionate about helping people to “entrepreneur on purpose“, so they can find long-term meaning and have a significant societal impact through their enterprises. In fact I will be teaching this and other related topics at the re:Position Life Transition Summit this weekend, May 2nd in Alpharetta, GA.

Based on where you are in your life journey, maybe it’s time for you to re:Position as an entrepreneur. I would love to help guide you along that pathway.

Dream B.I.G.,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

re:Position Life Transition Summit
“Shift your life from striving to THRIVING!
~ Learn how to flourish in any economic environment ~
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Alpharetta, GA

Registration: http://repositionsummit.eventbrite.com

Entrepreneurs to the Rescue!

Pessimism is in vogue. It seems that in these challenging economic times doomsayers are ruling the airwaves and Internet. Not that the current business environment isn’t bad, because it is. However, it seems that probably 99.7% of the “experts” are talking more about the problems rather than potential solutions, at least ones that don’t include some sort of bail out. Does anyone have any hope?

Fortunately, from my brief research I have found a few pockets of optimism populated by those who believe like I do that entrepreneurs can help lead us out of this economic quagmire. Through ingenuity, innovation, and tenacity entrepreneurs can play a very strategic role in helping to revive our economy and impact people’s lives. Here’s a sample of what I found:
Now more than ever before these times present great opportunities for mission driven and social entrepreneurs – those with a keen understanding and sensitivity to the human side of business – to significantly impact people’s lives. People are looking for hope in addition to high quality, low cost products and services. And who better to give them hope than a small business owner, who may have more of an chance to connect with them 1 on 1 than a larger impersonal corporation.

As an entrepreneur or aspiring business owner, what do you think you can do to help our economy get back on its feet? What is one of the most significant things that you could do to “keep hope alive” for a customer, employee, or supplier? Let me know what ideas you have.

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Entrepreneurial Nation Building

If you read my previous post, Pray for Africa, you will get an idea of the passion that I have for that great continent. Of course while prayer is essential, it is just the first step to creating change. The Bible says that prayer not accompanied by action is worthless (James 2:17). Therefore, in addition to praying, there is something else that I’m committed to doing. I have a vision for helping people in Africa build an entrepreneurial network that will result in exponential increases in economic empowerment, employment and education.

Poverty is such an oppressive institution that it often drives people who feel powerless to do desperate things, and in African countries and elsewhere that often involves violence. One of the keys to reducing this violence is to reduce peoples’ feelings of powerlessness and purposelessness. That’s why I believe equipping people with entrepreneurial skills and resources, coupled with creating governmental policies and business environments that support and encourage entrepreneurship, will help to empower people personally, economically and socially.

With this being the case, I was incredibly excited to find some enlightening and inspiring videos on YouTube of Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda. He is talking about his belief that entrepreneurship can be a key component of strategically building a nation economically and socially. I agree with him wholeheartedly. Enjoy!

The Entrepreneur President, Paul Kagame of Rwanda – Part 1/2

The Entrepreneur President, Paul Kagame of Rwanda – Part 2/2

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Social Innovation in New Orleans

One of the main reasons I write my blog is to spark ideas for social innovation. So I get very excited when I hear or read about what other social innovators are doing in their communities. Currently, there is an innovative idea that is being proposed to help accelerate the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. James Andrews writes on his Key Influencer blog that Friends of New Orleans is looking to bring a Presidential debate to the city.

The awesome thing is that the city has everything in place to make this happen, including the funding and hotel venue.

You can help make this happen. This campaign is targeting your Governor, members of the US Senate and members of the US House of Representatives. Click here and follow the directions.

In many ways it seems New Orleans is forgotten until it’s time for a political photo op. There is still so much work to be done. This could be your opportunity to get involved in the rebuilding even though you don’t live there. Let’s pull together to make this happen for the people of New Orleans. The deadline is September 11th.

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Link to Friends of New Orleans: http://friendsofneworleans.change.org/nonprofit_page/nonprofit_events/94511?event_id=14757

Tags: , New Orleans, economic development