In today's fast-paced and secular world, being a Christian business owner can be challenging. Being a Christian woman in the world of business can sometimes feel even more isolating. As a community founded on the principles of love, kindness, and cooperation, it becomes essential for Christian women business owners to support and lift each other up.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 reminds us, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
So let's discuss the challenges faced by some Christian business owners, the importance of supporting fellow Christian business owners, and the practical ways that this can be achieved.
First, what are the challenges of some of our fellow Christian women business owners?
In the book of Philippians, we are reminded of the importance of looking out for one another and prioritizing the well-being of others. The verse states, "Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others." This powerful message resonates deeply with our values as Christians.
As we reflect on this verse, it becomes evident that there are still significant disparities in business ownership, especially among women from racial minority groups. Recent statistics reveal that women currently own only 43.2% of small businesses, while racial minorities own a mere 19.4%. These numbers highlight the pressing need to create equal opportunities in the business world.
By rallying behind our fellow female Christian business owners, we have an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact. Together, we can bridge this gap and elevate overall representation within the entrepreneurial community. It's time to level the playing field and ensure that everyone has an equal chance at success.
Supporting female Christian entrepreneurs goes beyond just purchasing their products or services – it's about fostering a supportive ecosystem where everyone thrives. When you buy from these business owners, you not only contribute to their success but also become part of something bigger – a movement towards equality and empowerment.
Remember: we rise by lifting others. Let us embody the teachings found in Ephesians 2:19: "Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with saints and members of God's household." We are all part of one united body – God's family – and supporting one another is a testament to our faith.
"Do not withhold good from the deserving when it is within your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27)
The reality of small business failure can often be daunting and discouraging. The journey of starting and maintaining a business is filled with challenges and obstacles that can test one's resilience and determination. Unfortunately, statistics show that many small businesses struggle to survive, with more than 20 percent of them failing in their first year alone. As time goes on, the numbers don't improve significantly either, with 50 percent of small start-ups failing within five years (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
In light of these challenges, it becomes crucial for us to extend our support to struggling business owners. As Christians, we are called to help those in need and not withhold good from the deserving when we have the power to act, as reflected in Proverbs 3:27.
Importance of Christian business owners
So what is the difference (hopefully) between Christian business owners and non-Christian? Let's dig in...
- Embracing Our Identity:
As Christian women, we have a remarkable opportunity to infuse our businesses with the Christian values and principles that define us. By aligning our business practices with our faith, we can create a positive impact on our customers, employees, and communities. Let us remember that our purpose as business owners goes beyond profit; it is about serving others and glorifying God through our work.
- Championing Ethical Business Practices:
Integrity should be the cornerstone of every Christian woman's business. By upholding ethical standards, we demonstrate our commitment to honoring God in all aspects of our work. This means treating employees with respect, delivering high-quality products or services, and being transparent and honest in our dealings. When we champion ethical business practices, we not only set an example for others but also build trust and loyalty among our customers and stakeholders.
- Caring for Employees: A Christ-Centered Approach
Running a business comes with the great responsibility of managing employees. Christian women business owners can have the unique opportunity to demonstrate Christ-like support and care for their staff in more focused ways. By seeking the welfare and success of others, Christian businesses can foster a work environment built on trust, encouragement, and empowerment. When we take an active interest in the well-being and spiritual growth of employees, it can lead to deeper connections and long-lasting loyalty and, therefore, we fulfill Galatians 6:2 as we help carry another's burdens.
- Striving to Make a Difference: Funding Kingdom Issues
"Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home.” (Romans 12:13)
“She opens her arms to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” (Proverbs 31:20)
“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in,” (Matthew 25:35)
When it comes to philanthropy, Christian women business owners can play an essential role in supporting the Church and its various ministries. By financially backing the efforts of local congregations, they can help support various outreach programs, education initiatives, and humanitarian relief. As a business owner, you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those less fortunate and directly impact your community for Christ.
Practical ways to support another Christian business owner
- Purchasing products:
One simple way we can support these entrepreneurs is by consciously choosing to purchase something from their businesses without using a discount if it is financially feasible for us. We often pay full price for various products or services without batting an eye, so why not do the same for our fellow sisters in Christ who are working hard to establish their businesses? By making a conscious decision to buy from them at full price or even recommending their products/services to others, we contribute directly to supporting their growth and success. So why wait until someone buys from you? Take action now! If there's something you need or desire, consider purchasing it from a fellow female Christian entrepreneur. By doing so, you become an active participant in creating change and promoting inclusivity within the business landscape.
- Social media
Let's not underestimate the power of sharing their content. Social media platforms have become powerful tools for marketing and exposure. By simply liking and commenting and/or sharing posts or spreading awareness about these women-owned small businesses among our own networks, we create opportunities for them to reach new customers and expand their customer base. It takes just a few seconds of our time but can make a significant impact on someone else's livelihood.
- Collaborating and Partnering:
Collaboration is a powerful tool for success in the business world. As Christian women business owners, we can leverage this tool to create mutually beneficial partnerships. By coming together, we can combine our skills, resources, and networks to achieve greater impact. Whether it's joint marketing initiatives, shared events, or cross-promotions, collaborating with fellow Christian women business owners strengthens our collective voice and expands our reach.
- Mentorship and Mentorship Programs:
Mentorship plays a vital role in personal and professional development. As successful Christian women business owners, we have a responsibility to mentor and guide aspiring entrepreneurs. By sharing our experiences, offering advice, and providing support, we can help nurture the next generation of Christian women business leaders. Establishing mentorship programs within our communities or actively participating in existing ones can make a significant difference in the lives of others.
- Practicing Gratitude and Celebration:
In the journey of entrepreneurship, it's important to celebrate milestones and achievements, no matter how small. As Christian women business owners, we can cultivate a culture of gratitude and celebration within our community. By acknowledging and uplifting one another's successes, we create an environment of encouragement and motivation. This not only boosts confidence but also inspires others to persevere in their endeavors.
- Praying for One Another:
Prayer is a powerful tool that connects us to God and brings about transformation in our lives. As Christian women business owners, we can make it a habit to pray for one another regularly. This includes praying for wisdom in decision-making, guidance in navigating challenges, and God's favor upon our businesses. Through prayer, we acknowledge our dependence on God and invite His presence into our lives.
As a Christian woman business owner, I can attest to the hardships and joys of trying to do God's work through the marketplace. I have pivoted many times and been blessed to work with and learn from some great people. In December of 2022, God put on my heart a community for my fellow Christian sisters in business. The community is called the Lydia Collective and is set up to encourage; one of our greatest strengths of being part of the Christian community is the support and encouragement we can offer one another. By actively seeking out and supporting fellow Christian women business owners, we foster a network of like-minded individuals who understand the unique challenges we face. This sense of community provides a safe space to share experiences, seek advice, and offer prayers, ultimately leading to personal and professional growth. I encourage you to join check us out at www.lydiacollective.com.
Christian women business owners have an essential and unique opportunity to make a difference in their communities and the world. By coming together as a supportive network, we can build stronger, ethical businesses that serve as a light of Christ's love within the marketplace. Supporting one another, caring for employees, investing in Kingdom issues, and addressing the challenges faced in business ownership will lead to a community of strong female Christian entrepreneurs that uplift and enrich our world. Let us continue to encourage and build each other up, just as in fact, we are called to do.