How Business & Investing Can Change the Mission Field

January 11, 2024 00:31:21
How Business & Investing Can Change the Mission Field
The WealthBuilders Podcast
How Business & Investing Can Change the Mission Field

Jan 11 2024 | 00:31:21

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Show Notes

Have you ever wrestled with the feeling that your job and your faith exist in separate worlds? Perhaps you dream of serving God, spreading His love, and alleviating poverty, but you do not know how to merge your faith and career.  

 

In this episode of the WealthBuilders Podcast, “How Investing Can Change the Mission Field,” host Karen Conrad Metcalfe invites David Briggs, Executive Director of World Outreach at Charis Bible College and Co-founder of Tricord Global, to help eliminate the myth that business and kingdom pursuits are separate. Listen to this podcast to learn how businesses and investing can be powerful tools for alleviating poverty, empowering communities, and leaving a lasting legacy.

www.wealthbuilders.org

Register for The 2024 WealthBuilders Conference: https://billyepperhart.lpages.co/wealthbuilders-conference-2024/

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to the Wealth Builders podcast. I'm Billy Epahard, and on this show you're going to hear from industry leaders in business, real estate and investing. Our wealth builder coaches and myself are excited to teach you how to make sense of making money for making a difference. Okay, let's get started. [00:00:28] Speaker B: Hello and welcome to this week's Wealth Builders podcast. I'm so grateful that you chose to join us today. And we've got a special guest and really a special topic today. I have got David Briggs with me and let me see if I can get all these titles correct. David, you are executive director of world outreach at Keras Bible College. You are the co founder and vice president of Tricord Global with Billy and Becky Epperhart. And you do consulting. Your expertise is in operational consulting with both nonprofits and for profits. Wow, David. Did I get all that? [00:01:13] Speaker C: Yeah. Yeah, you did good. [00:01:17] Speaker B: We're so glad to have you, David. And we were talking a little bit before we got on here, and David was telling me everything that he does and he's like, yeah, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to be when I grow up. And I think you're doing such an amazing job. I know, David, I love and appreciate you so much. David, you and Melta, and of course, you have been friends with Billy and Becky since, I think, was it grade school? Did you and Billy actually go to school together? [00:01:44] Speaker C: Not quite that far. We went to college at the same time. So I've known Billy and I and Becky, we've been friends for probably 46, 47 years, something like that. Wow. [00:01:58] Speaker B: That's amazing. Absolutely amazing. Well, Dave is going to be sharing with us on Tricord Global and just really unpacking for all of you, this amazing arm of wealth builders and all that is being done through Tricord. And I think you're just going to be pretty amazed at all the impact that he and Billy are having over there. But I do want to remind you that we've got the wealth Builders conference coming up on February 16 through the 18th in Denver, Colorado. And David's going to be one of those speakers. He's going to speak on Sunday morning, and we have got just a handful of vip tickets available. And so I want to share that with you. If you want to go in deeper, if you want to connect with the speakers and network in a smaller group session opportunity, this is for you. And so go to wealthbuilders.org events and you can register for the conference. And if you want to be part of the vip, you can choose that. Also, if you are between the ages of 16 and 35 years old, we have got a young entrepreneurs networking that we have added to our wealth builders events this last year. It's amazing. I'm just saying, like all of you that are in that age group, I'm so impressed with you. If you've got kids, if you've got grandkids, if you've got people that maybe you mentor, that you want to help them get around other people their age that are like minded, pursuing building wealth God's way, this is a must. It is amazing. And David, I don't think you weren't at the last event we did this, but we brought Colin and April Carr. Colin's been on this podcast. He's a speaker in, and we were praying over people. April had words for people. It just was such a beautiful event. So I just want to encourage you, and that's completely free. So just when you get registered, just click that button and then we'll have your name on that list. All right. So, David, we are really excited to hear what you are going to be sharing with us. So everyone here is Mr. David Briggs. [00:04:12] Speaker C: Thank you, Karen. That's awesome. I'm just honored to be here on the podcast because realizing the people that listen to it have a unique position in their purpose. And that is, while they're really heartfelt about making a kingdom difference, we always say like, that the Lord's last command should be our first priority. And so I know that people are wanting to make a kingdom difference, but a lot of times what happens in that expression is that I've always told people, don't let your occupational environment define your spiritual prowess or giftedness. A lot of times, people make a mistake thinking that because they're occupationally involved in some arena of life, that that somehow kind of disqualifies them from what they call the real true spiritual pursuits for the kingdom. And so we do a lot of talking and concept as businesses, mission, and not just being an add on, using business in missions, but business as a mission itself. And that's really where Billy and I connected years ago, was this idea of how do you make a difference in the kingdom in very practical and measurable ways. Fairbank said in 2010, I believe it was a quote he made. Still holds true today, that business has provided more help in alleviating poverty than all the charitable giving by governments and nonprofits combined. [00:05:45] Speaker B: Wow. That is amazing, David. That's an important statistic to share. [00:05:50] Speaker C: Yeah, it really is. And so I think what happens is that about in 2008, Billy and I were talking, and Billy had not just tell his testimony, but Billy had walked through an airport and got a book called Billion Bootstraps. And he's always been very active in entrepreneurial, a serial entrepreneur, really, in the business world, but a real heart and passion for the kingdom in ministry. And he and I both had kind of been in those worlds. And he began to read how micro finance and micro enterprise was making a difference in the world. And so he began to talk to me because I had been involved in missions and missional outreaches and things like that for several years before 2008. And so actually traveled in about 44 different countries working and being involved there. So as Bill and I began to talk, he talked to me. He said, dave, this is really intriguing me, how to really make an impact, he said, but I need to find out logistically and operationally how can we do that in that discovery? So that really kind of took us on our journey of discovery for how can we see effectively affect the transformation of nations? And that's where wealth builders, the concept of tricord, or three different parts, is making sense of making money to make a difference. And so the tricord arm became the part of wealth builders that was really the making difference arm. How do you make a kingdom impact out of your wealth? And so in that journey, we went through a process of discovery to find out what was the need, was it relevant, and how do we really make a difference? I compare it, Karen, to like, sticking your finger in whenever, when it agitates the water, but when you take it out and it calms down, there's no difference, there's no change. Sometimes what's happened in our zeal to preach the gospel and our zeal to get people born again, which is the highest calling we can have, is that there is no real change or impact in cities and nations where there's a transforming element of that, where there's influence. And so that's why we begin on our journey. People have asked, well, how does that work practically? Because a lot of people have a desire to make a difference, but they don't see where business really has that real type of kingdom impact. So really your success in business or success is simply our platform, that what draws and attracts us or gives us entrance or access or influence to people, but significance is what we do from that platform. And success is our journey. So as we're journeying in our business or we're journeying in our life and our occupation, we develop a certain measure of success. And that becomes the platform in which we really do what is significant in our life. And those giftings and calling of God is without repentance. And those things operate in every sector. I like what Lance wall now teaches about seven mountains, because in essence, that's basically what it is. How do you have the kingdom expression in the different worlds? One of the things I like to tell people is that one of the big things that happened in the g seven and the g twelve, with the nations that came together along with United nations, is they began to say, how do we alleviate poverty? That became a question they begin to ask themselves in these gatherings. And so they came up with 17 sustainable development goals to help alleviate poverty. And everybody can split what they call have meaning in those 17 goals. But some of them was no poverty. Zero hunger, good health, quality education, affordable clean energy, decent economic growth, industry, all those things that they begin to look at, potable water and all of those things, and justice. And one of those was also the 17th goal, was partnerships for those goals. So they began to discuss, how do we alleviate poverty and affect change in the nations? And out of those 17 goals, seven to nine of them are directly affected by business and by economy and economics. And so when we talk about micro enterprise, not just to get into a bunch of statistics, but here's the reality. Around the world, in developing countries, and that is in all the small to medium enterprises, whether they're formal or informal, provide 33% of all the nation's GDP. And also they provide 44% of all of the jobs. But the challenge with that is there is a $2.6 trillion credit disparity. That means that in the banking system and the availability of capital, that all of these small to medium enterprises, all the capital is sucked out of the markets by these large corporate entities and different structures. So these SMEs begin to languish for capital. In other words, these people are entrepreneurial, they want to affect business, but they have no access to capital. And so we call that in Tricord, a target rich environment. In other words, we believe that there's a way that we can facilitate finances for these small to medium enterprises, and also business training, so they can thrive and survive and become the influencers. Because we believe that true social impact, or the benefits of establishing a business is providing opportunity for jobs, creating businesses, developing safe savings, so the poor can have a sustainable lifestyle and realize their dreams. So that simply means that people aren't poor. Poverty is not a choice. People don't choose to be poor, but every nation has three levels of poverty, even our nation, and that is you have the poor, which in our nation, that poverty line is probably $15,000 to $20,000 a year, somewhere in that range. Then you have the poorest of the poor, the poor, then the poorest of the poor. So the poor, the very poor, and the poorest of the poor. And typically in those sectors of society, there is what we call the economically inactive and economically inactive means people who they might have a desire. They want to improve their lives, they want to be able to provide for their children, for education, they want to be able to make a living and provide community influence and all these things we talk about. But they're not economically active. Not just they not only don't have money, but they're understanding. That's why wealth builders, I believe, is so important. You educate people to make them economically active. And once they get those tools in their hands, whether it's education, training, consulting, or a pathway or a program to help them get started, to get there, then they never are able to realize their dreams and become effective in society. Wow. [00:13:34] Speaker B: David, if I could just ask you a question. This is so interesting and in a way surprising because we think about a lot of us have had the opportunity to grow up, see our parents thriving, teach us business principles. But you're exactly right. With wealth builders, the commitment is to train people, because how much, if you were to look at the situation, you've traveled all over the world, you've spent so much time with people, talking to them, they really don't have any way to be able to get out of that situation without knowledge and understanding and renewing their mind, not only to scriptures, but also principles. And so as you go and in your experience, how much time are you needing to spend on just helping them to renew their mind and see that there's a different possibility out there for them? [00:14:35] Speaker C: Well, that's an ongoing process. It's a great question. And the answer to that is, in the educational piece of it, is business is the same all over the world. Money operates the same, different cultures and stuff, but there's principles that operate the same. And so what happens is people are languishing because they don't know how to and they can't get a job. There's no jobs available. So it's not like they could go get a job and earn money, save a little money and then start something. They can't afford a business education. They can't afford to pay for going and getting their MBA or business training. So there's this gap of training, there's this economic disparity that keeps them from going to even get the training if they could. So there's no real consulting or mentoring or coaching. The things that we have here, there are really gaps in those developing countries. And so it's not just giving them information, which is good, like books and things, but how do you walk somebody through the process to where they have the ability to be able to grow into that? And that's really what tricord provides, what we provide, it's not just giving out a loan and giving them money, it's a real business education and training. So basically what happens in the typical process, we go in and we have to build an infrastructure. So that's why we have the bank in Uganda, that's why we have the way to get them the capital. But also they form in groups. So for example, usually when they start, we have to set up the administrative systems and we do that and we control the bank and the loan officers and all. But the loan officers are more than loan officers, they are actually community development officers. They are people that take individuals and usually if they're just starting out in business, we'll put them in groups called co ops. And in those co ops because these people can't get money from the banks because they have no collateral, they have no systems. So what we do, we put them in groups of eight or ten and those co ops and we take them through what we call pre loan training. And in that pre loan training, it's a sliding scale depending on where they're at. So they go from six to twelve weeks and they go through basic fundamental teaching. And that's the big what is a business plan? What is a business model, what is marketing? We actually have five curriculums that we teach, whether they're sitting under a tree or they're in a building, it doesn't matter the cultural context, it's the information that's important. And we even have amazing. Yeah, and we even have ways of training people that are illiterate, that can't read or write. So it can be oral training. They go through this six weeks of training or however much that is, and they bring a small amount that they put into safe savings and that's a savings program where they don't earn interest, but they have some skin in the game because we're trying to teach them how to be economically active. So they come in that training and they sit in classes together. In the co op, the co ops are formed without getting granular too much in the weeds. The co ops are formed where they're homogeneous, and that means that they live in the same area. They have three or four contact points in the community where they live, and they're looking for about the same size loans because they're getting loans that are uncollateralized. So the way we collateralize that is in the group. So attending the group meetings, attending the training, that's a part of the whole system. If they don't come to the trainings, they'd be in default. So it's kind of a positive peer pressure where they're helping one another. And so we go through those five curriculums, which are banking, savings, negotiation, debt control, that we take them through that process to learn basic fundamental financial understanding and then also teach them how to process. How do I start a business finding my market? All those things that we would teach. And then after that they go through a distribution day. And that's when they all gather together. They get their loans. And then every week, or every two weeks, depending on the cycle, the first week they have a loan utilization check because they're getting amounts of money they're not used to managing personally. So we walk them through that process and then they get the loan utilization check, which is, that's where we find out that the money they took is actually spent on the business, not just on their personal needs. And then every two weeks they have a co op meeting and that's a part of their process. So in that co op meeting, they get together, they have some business training in the co op, they solve problems together, they learn how to pivot. But there's also business ethics teaching. And really what that is, is what we would call discipleship. They're disciple. That's why like one course of loans, we had eleven muslim people come to Christ, and then we point them to church. In fact, I have one lady, her name is Miriam. She wrote us a letter saying she was Muslim. She said, I didn't even know we could do business with christians. And she came to Christ and now she is in church. So they're actually getting born again in the process of learning ethics in business, and they're being led to Christ. And then they're pointed to a church where they can have church life and be a part of a body. [00:20:49] Speaker B: Wow, David, this is so to. I'm looking at a PowerPoint, which I'm able to see this process, our audience isn't able to see it, but this is what you're going to be sharing on at least some of this at the wealth Builders conference. And I am so impressed with the system that you have put in place. And we're almost out of time here. So there's two things I would love for you to share with us here before we finish. First of all, I love that you shared the story of Miriam. If you could tell us maybe another story of someone that's gone through this process and then tell us how we can be a part of helping to fund this through tricord. [00:21:29] Speaker C: Absolutely. We have another lady that her name. I can't think of her name right now. I'm sorry. But she started off selling water in the market. She potable water. So she got a loan to get Jerry cans so she could sell water in the market. And she's had several loans. And the progress for us, she was Muslim, she came to Christ. But now she is what we would call a county commissioner in her area. She has civic influence over young ladies, and she's built her own home, and now she has three boutiques that she employs. I forget, twelve or more people. And she went from just being able to sell water, wanting to get a loan, just get a jerry can. And now she's a major influencer in the community and a voice in the community. We have another young lady, started out with a $50 loan to buy a bottle of oil and some saran wrap, and she was selling little servings of oil in the market because people couldn't afford a bottle of oil. And now she's through several loans. She has like a corner 711 store, and she's built out of a container she's built at a store. Now she has actually a brick and mortar store, and she still sells oil. But the interesting thing about that is that they sent me a picture of a little pot. And I was saying, why would I want a picture of a pot? I've had thousands of pictures. She said, tell those people in America, those tricord people, she said, tell them. My life's dream was to own my own cooking pot, and I never could afford a new one. She said, and now with my loan, after my first payment, I've made enough money. And she give them. This is a picture of my first cooking pot, she said, and they helped me realize my dream. So wealth is relevant. We've had testimonies of people being able to send their kids to get schooling. We've had stories of people being able to roof their houses and being able to be able to build their home and be in business. So it's not just porpoise we have one guy that owns a petrol station, started out with a small loan, and now he has a petrol station, two grocery stores and two warehouses. Excuse me. And now he's starting up like a Costco. One guy that started a bottled water business, and now he has a business that nets him about $180,000 a year. Wow. [00:24:10] Speaker B: David, I like how you start people out teaching them. And what you're describing is they continue to progress as an entrepreneur, so they get the principles and then you just stay with them. And going from the small business all the way up to a Costco like store, that is amazing. Wow, this is wonderful. And I know there's a lot of people listening and they're like, okay, how can I get involved with this? What should they do? David? [00:24:43] Speaker C: Well, to get involved in Tricord, what we do is that besides people that can give to wealth builders in Tricord, that partner that want to give charitable gift and giving, that's fine. But there's other people that would like to do value investing and social work and make a difference, but yet they want to do it out of their investment funds. What we do is that they can invest in tricord. When we open up the investment, it's called a tricord global note. And so they give to Tricord, and then we onward lend to our christian bank in Uganda or to our finance companies or saccos that we use. They in turn loan the money to the clients. And then what we do, we give a 4% return on their investment. So when the investment opens, they can have a minimum investment of $20,000. Our median investment is about $100,000. We've had other people do more. And also depending on the terms of their investment, they can even actually compound their investment. It's a global note, it's a debt investment. And so we onward lend that and our clients pay a two and a half percent monthly interest. And so we have a bank there, actually a bank with two branches now. And then the bank pays back interest on the money that we loan, that they onward lend. And then through the spread of the loans, we pay back our investors and they get paid quarterly. And so if they want to know more about that, they can contact wealthbuilders.org and talk to our, they can be guided to our investment people that handle the investments, that they can get all the information, but also when the investment opens, so they invest, the clients move on, move forward. The testimonies that we shared, and we've actually had a little over 7500 clients now, but they can invest their money, get a rate of return on their money and their investment is used in that impact. And so they're actually being involved in true partnership, making a difference, one person, one village and one nation at a time, building that kingdom influence, but also getting return on their investment. And so that's a real quick overview of how that works. And in all that time, Karen, let me just say know there's no investment without risk in anything that you make that clear. But we have never defaulted. Our history is we've never defaulted on paying our investors and I think that's important for them to know there's no absolute guarantees about capital investment in the world. But I want them to know that we have a very good track record of being, taking care of our fiduciary responsibility on those investments. [00:27:45] Speaker B: That's great. And again, David is going to be a speaker at our wealth Builders conference. Also, we're going to be opening up the opportunity to learn more and to be able to invest in Tricord at that event. So we'd love to see you there. So again, if you have not yet registered, go to forward slash events, get registered and we'll have a tricord global table. You can talk to David in person about it and learn more about really this amazing arm of the ministry and just a way to impact lives and actually have an income coming back to you for your investment. David, I want to thank you so much for taking time to be on this podcast today. Do you have any finishing comments that you would like to share with people? [00:28:38] Speaker C: Just want to say to our investors and partners, always look for an opportunity to do this. And those that might be future investor and partners, I want to say thank you very much for what you do because without those relationships, we could not have a platform, really. Tricord and Wealth Builders is a service platform that we use to serve the philanthropy and the faith that are in our partners and investors. And so we have a shared common goal, a shared common vision. But we really feel blessed that we can serve the great dreams of our investors and our partners through the platform of who tricord is and that by their meaningful involvement. And one statement that has always been, that's a quote that's been said, is that we all sit under the shade of trees we did not plant. And so now is the time for us when we think generationally to plant the seeds of trees that will grow whose shades we may never sit under. And so it's not just a way of making money, making a difference, but it's a way of paying it forward and having a footprint or a legacy. The Bible says that one generation rises up and praises the works of another. It's that generational responsibility and mission that we have not only to do what we can in our lifetime through our involvement and investment, but we also begin to set up our next in future generations to make an incredible difference. And so I just want to say thank you to our partners and investors and those that might join us to making a kingdom difference. That their good and gracious stewardship and their generosity actually does make an imprint where we can literally change the world. One village, one city, one person, one village, one city and one nation at a time. [00:30:36] Speaker B: Wow, David, thank you so much. Well, I just want to thank you again for being on this podcast with us. We'll look forward to having you on again soon. David and I want to thank all of you that are listening. Our wealth builders family, Billy and Becky, send their love to you. We can't wait to see you at the upcoming conference. God bless you and make it a great rest of the day. [00:31:01] Speaker A: Thanks for listening to the Wealth Builders podcast. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please rate and review the show. You want to learn more about who we are, visit our [email protected] and check us out on Facebook. We'll see you next time.

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