Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lost Boy Faith Ventures

I define a faith venture as a Christ-centered business that employs individuals or communities rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness, prison, or poverty. Many of my posts to this blog discuss faith venture with an eye on serving individuals rebuilding lives from prison and a felony conviction. But faith ventures aren't limited to just felons. They can be international faith-based microenterprise funds that serve whole communities rebuilding from poverty. Or they can be domestic firms seeking to meet the needs of other disadvantaged communities.

At our last Faith Venture Focus Forum, I was introduced to Billy Williams of Urban Mattress. Billy is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience from several different business startups. His latest venture sells mattresses and sleep systems in Boulder, Colorado. The faith part of his faith venture comes in his commitment to hire recent immigrants from the Lost Boys of Sudan to staff various roles in his business. They have had to develop unique strategies to overcome language difficulties to create opportunity for this disadvantaged immigrant community while ensuring that the needs of their customers are served.

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