The social and economic inequalities experienced by an individual within a nation has to a great extent led to the disparity in resource distribution. The situation has bred a state that majority of the people are not capable of meeting their requirements such as food and not limited to clothing as well shelter hence regarded financially incapacitated. Poverty is a multifaceted concept that manifests itself in various fonts such as economic, social, and political perspectives. The attempts to eliminate if not reducing the poverty levels among people of a nation has led to the adoption of multiple initiatives. Among them include financial empowerment of the poor. In this way, the individuals within this social status can uplift themselves through establishing a business that would help sustain their lives as a result of access to financial services such as business loans.
The paper defends that the only way a financially incapacitated individual can get help is through providing them with a level ground regarding business. In this case, they can exploit their potential to the maximum. The discussions in this essay get supported by evidence derived from teachings of Yunus in his book entitled, banker to the poor, the readings from the book business for the glory of God and the Bible. These are all elaborated as follows.
Business for the Glory of God
Authored by Wayne Grudem, a professor of theology, the book Business for the Glory of God gives a reflection of business as an opportunity granted to individuals to imitate God in their entrepreneurial activities (Grudem, 2003). In support of the ideas that a leveled business ground and opportunity is the only way out to help the poor succeed, several chapters of his book give an in-depth analysis of the notion. They include sections on ownership, competition et al.
The sole reason as to why in the Ten Commandments God orders individual not to steal (Ex. 20:15, NIV) is that ownership of property is the only way that individuals can imitate the sovereignty of God over the universe that we exist. Through these, expressions of wisdom, kindness, and love among others get manifested in our actions. To make the poor exercise these attributes of God and in the long run get freed from the shackles of poverty, giving them equal access to financial help such as business loans to realize their entrepreneurial potential is integral. Even to the most impoverished person, providing them with this opportunity gives them a chance to succeed in their lives since they will be the custodians of their destiny. It is per the teachings of the Bible regarding loving your neighbor as one love themselves (Mark 12:31, NIV). The scripture in the book of Leviticus 19:15 (NIV) castigates partiality to the poor and emphasizes on a fair treatment to them. Giving the poor just as the rich, equal accessing to various financial services such as entrepreneurial education and business loans provide them with better opportunities. They will strive to learn better ways of managing their business and becoming successful entrepreneurs. Eradication of poverty, therefore, gets achieved in the long run.
On competition, Wayne Grudem argues that God in his image created every individual with the desire to attain the best of themselves and improve if presented with an opportunity (Grudem, 2003). Competition creates an environment that motivates people to strive for excellence in their actions. Helping the poor come up with business through giving them equal access to services such as loans that attract low bank interests lead to their entrepreneurial growth making them effectively compete with other well-established business. Through this, the ground gets leveled as they get to reach the same customers the rich access via their company. The long-term effect is an improvement in the living standard of the individual initially perceived as financially weak.
Banker to the Poor
Yunus in his book Banker to the Poor, states that charity is not is not a solution to poverty (Yunus, 2007). Instead, it helps an individual bypass the intense process of recognizing a problem and coming up with and an amicable way to solve it. Charity is considered a method in which poverty gets perpetuated by making the poor less involved in solving their problems. A conducive environment that helps fight poverty is that which the poor get guidance on ways of freeing themselves from their socio-economic captivity by providing them with knowledge and opportunity to venture into the entrepreneurial world. By only doing this is when poverty can be alienated. Charity primarily appeases to one’s consciences but does not solve the problem in the long run.
Yunus is quick to note that people are not poor because they are deemed stupid or lazy but due to the inability of the financial institutions to support them (Yunus, 2007). For example, these organizations have made it difficult for the poor to access business loans hence making it difficult for them to venture into entrepreneurship. Yunus having noted these challenges, he established the Grameen bank to help combat the increased poverty level in Bangladesh. Through his initiative, he has helped more than 2 million families in his rural area by providing over 2.5 billion dollars of micro-loans to them (Yunus, 2007). The majority of his clients are women who in this case have in most cases get undermined by financial institutions in accessing business loans. Through the lending programs, Yunus has helped alienate poverty by making women come up with a sustainable business whose returns improve their living standards.
In conclusion, people are only financially incapacitated due to lack of change in their way of daily operations. These changes get achieved if there is collective effort to educate the individuals on financial freedom and the need for entrepreneurship in improving their lives. It is for the above reasons that not only Grameen banks but also the teachings of Wayne Grudem came into existence. They have to a great extent achieved their mission to eradicate poverty by helping the financially weak venture into business and uplift their living standards.Tags: Position Paper