I have a story to tell. A story so compelling, at least to me, that if you are in the realm of the marketplace, especially as a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, you will want to check us out.
For a bit of context, let me paint the scenario in Malaysia as I see it. I’m saddened by many things that affect life on the day-to-day. Rampant corruption, our very weak ringgit and the rising cost of living. Doing business is tough in itself, doing business without bribing is even tougher, hence doing business God’s way with integrity is, as someone put it “cannot be done in Malaysia”. The push factor to migrate, or find employment/business opportunities overseas has reached a proportion such that majority of our friends have a child or more working overseas, often times driven not by choice.
For more than ten years now, a group of us, ladies, have prayed for God to deliver Malaysia, to save Malaysia out of this grip of corruption. The burden to pray rest heavy, yet the more we pray, the worse the situation becomes. What else can we do? Well, life goes on. We prayed some more. We go to church, get inspired by fiery messages to make a difference, to rock the nation for Jesus Christ as life is short and time is precious. Disheartened, I often resigned to the fact that I can’t do much.
Since 2006, my husband and I were called to serve God in the marketplace specifically working with Christian business owners through a ministry called Fellowship of Companies for Christ International in short FCCI (www.fcci.org). Increasingly, I’ve been asking God “is that all there is to it?” Getting them into small groups for mutual growth and encouragement, much like a cell group, but only these cell members are in businesses, meeting at business premises during the day. A holy discontent was building within us, in that we see the toxic business environment with evil triumphant on the rise, and our effort to “not curse the darkness, but bring in the light” seem to be so insignificant in impact and influence.
So what’s the solution? Where’s the hope for Malaysia? Before September 2014, my response would have been, “Pray, obey God to do whatever I can, travel much and enjoy the grandchildren”. However, an FCCI trip to Chicago with a group of like-minded believers changed it all for me. God downloaded a vision so compelling, and a burden for Malaysia so heavy that we just couldn’t shake it off. We prayed, we shared with like minded believers who’s been there, done that, who are in the final lap of life’s journey and desire to sow into the next two generations of believers in business.
I believe because we were serious with God, God also took us seriously. In an amazing way, He assembled what is to become the Core Team, individually prepared by God to bring in something uniquely different to the table. He touched our hearts, plus a few whom we shared the vision with, to dig into our pockets to have a place called home for The-Encubator. God provided resources at every point of need: a wonderful contractor who was so inspired by the vision became a pioneer student at our Business School, a talented consultant designed our website, an Administrative Manager became one of our key intercessor, plus many others. Piece by piece, everything came together.
Exactly two and half years later in March 2016, we launched The-Encubator (www.the-encubator.com) and kicked off the first intake of the Business School with 15 participants. We are now doing the second intake for January 2018. By June 2017, we also launched the CEO Roundtable with 7 medium-sized business owners. God has led us step by step, we have other exciting plans in the pipeline for 2018.
So, what exactly is The-Encubator? It’s not just a program, nor just an event, but an ecosystem designed for believers in the marketplace. We desire to transform the business environment through multiplying biblical entrepreneurs who will be the ‘salt and light’. We will do this by equipping entrepreneurs with Biblical principles and practices at every phase of the organization life cycle.
We are just starting out. The most important lesson I personally learned, being a start-up ourselves at The-Encubator, is to have a Startup Mindset and to pivot for changes promptly when called for. We are constantly on the learning mode, interacting with the new generation of business owners whose business platforms are often alien to me, using technologies that the older generation are often afraid to venture into.
We will need to collaborate with churches, para-churches, and Christian-owned businesses to pass the word around. We need to be more engaged with the social media. We also need to let more people know us through Christian publications. We need to do so many things. But one thing is clear, we need to follow God’s marching order, at least in the realm of business, for Malaysia.
For those like us in the final lap, check us out how you can contribute your time and energy to invest into the next two generations of entrepreneurs. And even finance kingdom value-based businesses. For those who are in businesses, or aspiring to start a business, check us out regarding how we can serve your needs.
Together we can lift up the name of Jesus in the business realm in Malaysia. For when 10% of businesses in Malaysia declare they will do business with integrity, we would have reached the tipping point, to be a voice to be reckoned with. Let’s work together to reclaim back the mountain of business for the glory of God.
NOTE: Peggy Lim is a founding member and the prayer coordinator for the Encubator initiative. To find out more about the Encubator, you may visit their page at https://www.the-encubator.com/
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