School of Global Commerce & Management brings world-renowned dignitary to Whitworth -- David Bussau, "grandfather" of the micro-enterprise development movement
International entrepreneur and "grandfather" of the micro-enterprise development movement David Bussau was present on campus spreading two gospels. One text is the Bible; the other is Adam Smith. For Bussau, the "invisible hand" Smith perceived at work in the free enterprise system might well be that of Jesus Christ. Bussau, 62, has made spreading both messages his life's work.
An entrepreneur who got his start in the food and construction industries, Bussau is the founder of Opportunity International, a micro-enterprise development organization that has created more than a million jobs for the impoverished in third-world countries. In 2000, Bussau was named one of "Australia's 10 most creative minds" by Bulletin Magazine and he was awarded The Order of Australia.
After an earthquake shook Indonesia in 1976, Bussau and his family moved to Bali to volunteer in the rebuilding efforts. He provided financing for hundreds of small loans to help local businesses rebuild and grow. Inspired by their success, Bussau sold his businesses and established a not-for-profit foundation to provide small amounts of capital to the underprivileged so they could become entrepreneurs. This method is known as micro-enterprise development.
Bussau is a strong advocate of Christian micro-enterprise development and has co-authored several books on the subject, including Reflections on Christian Micro-Enterprise Development and How Then Shall We Lend? A Biblical Validation of Micro-Enterprise Development.
Bussau's campus visit and lectures are sponsored by Whitworth's $2-million Lilly Vocation Grant, "Discerning Vocation: Community, Context and Commitment," from the Lilly Foundation, Inc., and the Herbert B. Jones Grant for the establishment of Whitworth's new Entrepreneurship and Small Business Studies Program.
He spent a week at Whitworth explaining his twin missions in the month of October. His inspired life and tales of micro-enterprise development in the Two-Thirds World has helped all of us at Whitworth clarify a vision for how business will and already does change lives for good in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. The nature of globalization is that it's like the sun -- we can't stop it, but we can help minimize some of its negative effects while helping our students to be prepared to improve people's lives throughout the world, even here in Spokane.