I recently spent a couple weeks in Ghana, West Africa. One of the elements in our itinerary was to conduct three days of training with 25 local businessmen in the northern Ghana town of Tamale.
I prefer to have a clear understanding of who the trainees are before I begin a training event. In this case, I did not have that information, so we started the training by surveying the trainees to gain an understanding of why they had come.
The men (and one woman) are mostly farmers, carpenters, and shop keepers. Each participant is either running a small enterprise or desires to start one. None of them has ever considered preparing a business plan, budget, etc. It was quickly obvious that the best thing we could do for them was to give them some perspective and tools about planning.
It was truly a light bulb experience for most of them.
I started the training by showing them from Scripture that God desires that we offer him what we have. (Mark 6:30ff, Ex 4:1, etc.) Unlike us, he is not concerned about what we lack. Rather, he asks, “What do you have?” “What is in your hand?” As we offer him what we have, he multiplies it. These entrepreneurs can create wealth and make their poor communities better places if they offer what they have to the Lord.
After establishing a God focus, we went through a step-by-step process of building a business plan and concluded the three days with how to create a budget. One particularly popular topic was risk. After we talked about it, they quickly realized how often their success is sabotaged by something unanticipated. It was a lot of material, but every person in attendance expressed appreciation and committed himself to follow through by creating a plan for their endeavor. The evaluations they completed are very encouraging.
Thank you for praying for this trip. The work we did could be life changing for people who are living in extreme poverty. Please continue to pray that they will apply what they learned. That they will offer to the Lord their small opportunities and that he will cause their offering to grow. That they will generate wealth and create more opportunities for the next generations.