“Master,” he said, “You have entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.” His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:14-30)
This parable from the Bible reveals more about the nature of Jesus’ call to be a “good and faithful” steward than many business school case studies. The lesson is simple: We are to wisely nurture what little is given to us in order to reap a sustainable harvest. This is the model Five Talents seeks to emulate, as well as for its program participants to grasp and implement in their own business endeavors.
Five Talents focuses its resources on programs:
- Based on group savings and lending;
- Demonstrating the potential for impact on the socio-economic status of individuals and communities;
- Addressing the needs of poor populations otherwise underserved by the commercial microcredit industry;
- In need of post-conflict and post-disaster expertise using a church anchor;
- Where the local Anglican church provides a link to those populations;
- Where we can play a leadership role in establishing operations that can become self-sustaining and achieve meaningful scale.
Five Talents occupies a space that is not being filled by many organizations at this time. (For example, we are one of only 13 organizations working in Sudan). Our efforts are concentrated on funding programs that serve those indicated in the dark purple area in the chart to the left — extreme, vulnerable and moderate poor.
A hallmark of our programs is our dedication to existing relationships in the communities where we work. Unlike some other poverty-fighting initiatives, Five Talents is distinctly connected to stable, non-governmental organizations in the countries it serves, bolstering existing networks from which continued services can be made available. We prefer not to reinvent the wheel, which keeps program costs down, and program impact up!
Providing business training, access to basic savings and microcredit programs, and spiritual support--all through existing community networks--Five Talents is able to offer a hand up, granting those in the poorest countries a wealth of knowledge, tools for initiative and a sense of self-worth necessary for transformation.