Social entrepreneurship, sometimes referred to as “business as missions,” invests in creative ideas and empowers Christian business people to be the hands and feet of Jesus through business. We believe that the role of business in ministry is to successfully balance profitability with investment in the spiritual health of the community. Traditionally, international missions has been organized through a church. Social entrepreneurship seeks to impact people through small business. The gospel is displayed to customers, employees, and others through the goods and services small business people provide, the relationships they build, and the causes they take on.
The most successful businesses are run by people who are passionate about their work and committed to providing the best product for their customers. Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” When business people live their faith, it permeates everything that they do, including things outside of traditional ministry and the church.
In Hungary, our social entrepreneurship team is working hard to find opportunities to impact the community through business. Our two current projects are a Christian English language preschool and an American style bakery/coffee shop. Both of these projects influence the community in different ways.
During our quarantine, we have been working hard on a business plan for an International Christian preschool in Budapest. We have learned much about the business climate in the city. The basic regulations are very similar to the United States. However, the real-estate market and bureaucratic red tape are very different. We have also researched the demographics of Budapest to understand where the best location will be. Our target customers are young Hungarian professionals, foreign nationals, and American expats. Our business goals are to provide a quality program from a Christian worldview for a reasonable price. Our ministry goals are to teach children and families about Jesus and invest in English camp ministries for children in Hungary. We are currently raising start-up capital. (If you are interested in contributing to that, you can go here and use account #408359)
Our team has been also working on business ideas around an American style bakery. Currently, we are identifying a potential customer base, location, and menu. Location is extremely important and having a location near public transit is critical. There are established locations for rent and vacant storefronts that can be built out. There are the up-and-coming areas of the city and high rent popular areas. Our business goal is to provide affordable, quality, uniquely American food to Hungarians in a welcoming space. We are considering our ministry goals and how we are going to show the love of Jesus through this bakery. At this moment, we know that we want to use the income and profit from the bakery to provide help and services for mentally ill Hungarians. Mental illness is a large problem in this country and often people do not have access to help.
God has assembled a great team of missionaries in Hungary who love business. We understand that without a good business plan and predictable profitability, a business as missions project can quickly become a drain on the organization and people involved. We have faith that with God’s guidance and our experience, we can create sustainable businesses with the ability to make significant investments in our community. Our passion for our business and our yearning to share our faith is the engine of social entrepreneurship. The income and profitability from our business is the fuel that drives ministry in the community. Please pray for us as we seek and develop opportunities to impact people in Hungary.
– By Aaron DePue, OMS Hungary Team Member