Richard Wilson

What does it look like when two developing business ideas are brought together by friends who also have a passion for God's justice? Here is a recent example from Hastings.

It is a story about three enterprising women in their twenties keen to develop their gifts and to use a proportion of the profits from a new business venture to support one of their church's own social action projects.

Three dreams, one heart and many different skills are being brought together under the business name, 'Found'. After the encouragement of earlier prophetic words given separately to each of them, Jo, Tamara and Miriam launched 'Found' in June 2019.

Currently two businesses fall under the banner. 'Found for Her', run by Jo and Miriam, provides beauty treatment and hairdressing, while Tamara's 'Found Creative' provides services from logo design and company stationery to branding development. In the future it is hoped that other businesses sharing the same values will be encouraged to come under the 'Found' banner.

The initiative takes inspiration from Luke 15:8-10 recounting Jesus' story of the woman finding and rejoicing over her lost silver coin. As the website for 'Found for Her' proclaims with real concern and love:

"We love celebrating women & making them feel special and loved through the treatments that we provide. However, we are also aware that many women around the world, including in our town, do not have the basic right to freedom, let alone the privilege of beauty treatments."

In their local church in Hastings there is an active project, 'Restore', befriending survivors of human trafficking. Keen to support this work as the practical out-working of their heart for people, their website continues:

"At Found, we have created a business model that means we are able to give at least 10% of whatever we make to support the anti-trafficking project our church runs, supporting women found and freed from slavery..."

It may sound radical, but for these women the driving force is not simply business. None of them simply want to do business for business’ sake. There is a greater purpose which comes through all they do and a desire to see a practical out-working of their faith in their own local context. Nevertheless, they have sought wisdom from others to create business models that will be sustainable and ethical. Giving 10% to the social action work is a start, but the heart of 'Found' is to increase this as the business grows. And it is important that the giving is local; part of their local church's mission.

However, raising money for the work with survivors of human trafficking is only a part of the story. Eventually it is envisaged that the businesses can facilitate work experience and an environment where learning skills can be provided. The intention is first to be a blessing more widely with the different services they provide, but then to train and equip those who have been rescued from desperate circumstances to develop their own skills. Beauty, fashion and design may take different forms but they are cross-cultural and provide a means of connecting with a variety of people in 21st century Britain.

Perhaps the example of 'Found' can be a provocation to others to use their God-given creative or business skills to further biblical justice; not just setting up a business but a business positively facilitating local ministries. Likewise, our mercy ministries can be encouraged to see the benefit of partnership with friends in the business and creative spheres.