Often, charitable giving can be the most efficient and direct way of helping those in need—but not always. At a recent panel on “Entrepreneurship for Human Flourishing” at the American Enterprise Institute, Peter Greer, Jonathan O’Connor, and Elyse Bealer explored from a faith-based perspective the importance of businesses in helping communities thrive, and argued that entrepreneurship can sustain productive development and empower those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Greer concluded:
For those individuals in the commercial workplace, creating value, I would encourage you: don’t separate your philanthropy from your business. …For some individuals it might just be possible that you could have a greater good, instead of maximizing every penny so that you can give it away to a nonprofit, you might have a greater impact by figuring out how to make sure there is flourishing with every single employee that you are given the opportunity of stewarding.
In the video below, Elyse Bealer shared how joining Merck, which she originally thought meant giving up the opportunity to serve the Native American population, actually allowed her to bring jobs to a community with a 90% unemployment rate, while positioning Merck's healthcare call center business to win more federal contracts.