Virtuous Women Entrepreneurs

Dr. Rosette Adera Professor of Business Administration & Management and chair

I enjoy teaching Business Administration and Management courses at Pillar College and motivating my students, particularly the women to become entrepreneurs. Beginning with the first Business course Introduction to Business – all the way to the capstone course Strategic Management, our students are required to write funding ready business plans. Even before they graduate, many have gone ahead and launched their own business ventures and they are grateful for the rigor of the process that helps them to think it through.

It is even more exciting to teach Business from a Biblical Perspective. The Bible has many examples of great entrepreneurs but since this is a March issue and in celebration of Women’s month, I can share the Biblical examples of women entrepreneurs.

In the Old Testament there is the Proverbs 31 woman. While she is extoled as a virtuous wife, I argue that she is so because of her entrepreneurial spirit. Why? “She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands” – she is not afraid of a little work, “she is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar” – she outsources (if she must), “she considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard” – she is savvy with real estate and knows a good deal when she sees it; “she reaches out her hands to the needy” – she is a giver and community supporter; “she is not afraid of snow… and shall rejoice in time to come” – she is confident about what the future holds because she has made wise investments – put away a nice nest egg for herself and her family. What makes the Proverbs 31 woman such a great example is that even her workers are well provided for.

While some teach that far from being real, this Proverbs 31 woman is held up as the perfect example to emulate, there were many in her day and even now who follow in her example. In the New Testament we know of Lydia, a dealer in purple dye, supporter of missionaries and probably an influential member of the local chamber of commerce; and there is also Priscilla in the Book of Acts who made and sold tents. In many cultures, women are the savers and builders. The micro-finance industry thrives and had made positive impact mainly because of this virtue in women.