Biblical/Scriptural text

Abundant Life
John 10:10 (Gideons International)
The thief’s only purpose in coming is to steal, to slaughter and destroy. I have come so they may have life and have it abundantly.

Entrepreneurs can be prophetic witness to the Gospel by providing an abundant life to all through his/her resourcefulness and courage despite risks and uncertainties of the market; an entrepreneur performs difficult tasks with joyful expectation of God’s loving providence and inspires others to do likewise.

Read the related news articles: (Oct. 10, 2014)

The Philippine small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – which account for 99.6% of total registered enterprises per Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) figures – currently contributes 35% to the country’s gross domestic products (GDP), the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) data showed.
With the upcoming ASEAN integration in 2015, SMEs are still faced with challenges such as access to finance and information. (READ: 'ASEAN integration an opportunity, not a threat to PH SMEs')
To improve SME competitiveness and productivity, the 2011-2016 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Plan indicated a target of increasing MSME contribution to 40% gross value added through government support. –

Role of the yuppie entrepreneurs by Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas (April 10, 2014)

Exactly 25 years ago, the CRC College of Arts and Sciences (precursor of the University of Asia and the Pacific) launched a completely innovative educational offering called the Entrepreneurial Management (EM) Program...

This academic experiment has paid off handsomely in the last quarter of a century. The EM Program has produced a good number of very successful small business enterprises in very diverse industries, such as high-value vegetable farming, meat and fish distribution, water purification, garments manufacturing, digital marketing, microfinance, fashion goods, early learning centers, etc. A few of them have grown to medium-scale companies with sales of P50 million or above.

However, an entrepreneurial activity can also be an opposite to Godly values such as “scams.”

Biblical/Scriptural Text

Matthew 23:27, 28 (Gideons International)
27 Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you resemble whitewashed tombs which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity.
28 So you seem to men to be outwardly upright but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Read the related news article:

P1.4-B fund scam leaders now hiding
by Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
Saturday, November 8th, 2014

LUCENA CITY—Thousands of people who had invested in a money-making scheme here have been left holding the bag after key officials of the group that ran the scheme went into hiding starting on Wednesday.

Officials of South Luzon Multipurpose Cooperative-Grand Alliance of Business Leaders Association (SLMC-Gabai) had made themselves scarce after the group failed to pay the returns people who had invested in the group were expecting.

“They should face us and explain what happened to our money,” a female investor from Sariaya town, Quezon province, said in an interview at the SLMC-Gabai compound in Barangay Isabang here.

She said she had been staying at the group’s compound, hoping to get back the P70,000 she invested a week ago. She refused to be identified, as her husband was not aware of her investment.

The scheme run by SMLC-Gabai promised a 40-percent weekly interest for investments ranging from P350 to P35,000 a day. It attracted vendors, drivers, teachers and government and private employees.

People had been coming in droves since July after investors got weekly payouts of P14,000 for every P35,000 in investments.

The scheme also offered a point for every P350 in investment. Investors could use their points to buy merchandise sold at the SLMC-Gabai compound. Dealers of the merchandise, which include small home appliances, have stopped selling these due to irregular payment from the group.

Luzardo Lucido, Gabai chair and SLMC administrator, has not been seen inside the compound since Tuesday, days after investors stopped getting their weekly payments.

Since Wednesday, hundreds of restive depositors, some of them from Laguna, Batangas and Marinduque provinces, have set up camp inside the compound, hoping to get their money back.

At least two victims on Friday filed formal complaints in the police station here against SLMC-Gabai and more complainants were expected to come forward, said Supt. Allen Rae Co, Lucena police chief.

Based on figures provided by SLMC-Gabai officials, the get-rich-quick operation that lasted from July to October managed to bring in an estimated P600 million to P1.4 billion from investors.

Gerald Joseph Murillo, SLMC-Gabai account manager, who was reached by phone on Thursday from his undisclosed hiding place, said that since July, investments had reached

P5 million daily, which meant that from July to October, or 120 days, investments reached a total of at least P600 million.

He said the average daily payment for investors ranged from P2 million to P3 million.

But Camille Bautista, technical sales officer, said the total amount of investments could reach P1.4 billion.

Investors got handwritten “passbooks” as proof they had money in the scheme. An informant said it was all that people had as evidence of their investments in SMLC-Gabai.

Murillo admitted that he and wife Jenelee, the logistics officer, went into hiding, as “we have been receiving death threats.”

Murillo said the payments to investors were delayed due to heavy losses incurred by SMLC-Gabai because of irregularities in the group’s bookkeeping.

An investor, a public school teacher, admitted that people knew the risks but were attracted by the promise of big returns.

Reflect on this:

1. An entrepreneurial activity or business can be good or bad. It can provide jobs or create problems to society such as excessive gambling or drinking. Do you agree or disagree?
What other “acceptable” (legitimate, legally operated) businesses or entrepreneurial activities would you consider a challenge to Godly or even Ignacian Marian values (faith, excellence, service)? Explain your answer. (Related terms - immoral, unethical)

2. What can be your suggestions to the members of the society in avoiding deceitful entrepreneurs or business activities?

GROUP A (summary)
  1. Entrepreneurial activities can also bring people to commit sin. Example, in hotel/cafe business, maybe the owner has a pure motivation when they started that business, which is to earn income. For the country, when tourists come, they provide job opportunities. But we can't avoid also that sometimes a hotel/cafe becomes a place for the prostitutes to practice their "talent." Even hotels/cafes become places for dirty business like narcotics etc. If the owner does not prioritize on money, then they can do something to avoid this problem. Another example is the Internet cafe business. Some people, especially women, sacrifice themselves in order to have money through cybersex by using the Internet with a foreigner (we watched this in Maala-ala Mo Kaya). But this is the reality of our world now. Being aware of that, let us go back to our source, who is Jesus Himself.
  2. As a Christian and as a sister we have some tips:
  • Deepen your relationship with GOD. If you have GOD, no matter how beautiful or how expensive the world will offer to us, we can refuse it freely.
  • Deepen your relationship with your family. Family can protect you; because if you are contented with the love your family, you will not search for happiness from outside.
  • Be open, honest, and good parents.

GROUP B (summary)
  1. Entrepreneurship is an economic activity.
We agree that entrepreneurial activities can be good or bad, because being an entrepreneur is not easy. For example, when you build a business that meets the difficulties in society.

We have different ideas or qualities for our products. Sometimes, we misunderstood the cause of different information, such as using gambling or drinking, where it can affect our society. Business is good because you can earn money. Business is bad because when you earn money you might spend too much on the wrong things/services or buy something costly.

Understanding the Spirit of the Age