As sons of Indian/Pakistani immigrants who came here to seek opportunity, many of those opportunities afforded to the likes of our parents actually came from Muslim entrepreneurs who had established shops, factories and so on. Working in those factories or going on to do their own entrepreneurial activities has led to our generation being well-educated and in a position now where many of us can take those entrepreneurial activities to the next level.
These activities have a huge impact: when a canny businessman spots an opportunity and sets up shop/factory at the heart of a deprived area (often areas with high Muslim populations here in the UK) he becomes the means by which hundreds are lifted out of poverty. As the business grows, he doesn’t rest on his laurels – for him, this business is not just something he wants to earn a comfortable living from – he wants to do something transformational with that business.
A crucial part of growing the business is thinking about a) where/how to grow the business, and b) attracting and retaining the best personnel to make the growth happen. If our businessman puts what Allah wants at the heart of his decision-making, he will make sure that where he expands his business aligns in some meaningful way with helping/adding value to others (perhaps he’ll open another branch in another deprived area of the country, or he’ll hire refugees). And If our businessman puts in place proper systems to help his employees share in his success and to further develop their own skills, chances are he’ll hang on to them. He will now also be in a place to set up targeted philanthropic ventures to further help those most deprived in his community.
As the decades’ pass, his employees grow more qualified, richer, and are exposed to the world as the business expands further and further afield. Their children and families have far better health, education, and social outcomes than they would otherwise have had. Their children get excellent grades and are now well-placed to do even better than their parents in their own careers.
What that business has achieved is not measurable by just money. That business has created a community of people who are empowered to get involved in the political debate (as they are now educated and have the time/opportunity to do that with a secure job), who can fight discrimination (because they’re now confident, know their rights, and have real self-worth), who will engage in entrepreneurship themselves, and who will become less obese as they become more affluent (and can access the more expensive but more nutritious food).
Article content was first published on Islamicfinanceguru
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