The Diocese of Southern Ohio has spent some time researching the feasibility of embarking on partnerships with churches in the arena of micro-enterprise. A micro-enterprise is defined as a business having five or fewer employees and capital of no more than $35,000. The goal of the diocese in this conversation is to enliven the ministries of congregations, particularly in the Appalachian region of southern Ohio, with opportunities to engage in partnerships that help entrepreneurs begin successful and sustainable micro-enterprises.
See more information about micro-enterprise in Southern Ohio here.
Often the needs of the business owner have little to do with funding, and a lot to do with technical support: writing a business plan, understanding and developing business financial reports, referrals for access to capital investment partners, and much more. Our congregations are full of individuals equipped to offer such technical assistance. And many of our church buildings have spaces that could serve as a place for a small business incubator. The types of partnerships and resources available in a micro-enterprise endeavor have the potential to bring new energy to congregations and remind us all that we need to ‘turn inside out’ and become more connected to our community context.
At this time, we are continuing to explore how the Diocese of Southern Ohio can engage this mission field.