Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Empowerment Plus: Self-reliance

Helping those experiencing a wide range of socio-economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and extremism through integration, empowerment & self-reliance.

This initiative aims to Integrate and empower those experiencing a wide range of socio-economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and extremism through love of neighbor put to practice by working across faith traditions to help those at risk to become spiritually and temporally “self-reliant,” that is: empowered, integrated, contributing, loving, serving and successful members of society.

The instrumental link between social impact investing and empowering people and communities is person-to-person contact. Social investing that has impact requires personal and business relationships characterised by love and respect, not hate and intolerance. Accordingly, the need is for business people in partnership with faith volunteers to build personal relationships. The involvement of interfaith teams (including humanists) is a critical component because countering despair can most effectively be done with “love of neighbour” as exemplified in the Good Samaritan, a foreigner with a foreign faith, by the way.

Here, neighbourly love is not an emotion but a practical commitment to serve others — to help mentor those in need with individualised resources that help them provide for their own needs as well as those of their families and extended families. The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is currently working with a team from faiths as diverse as Mormons and Muslims, Catholics and Humanists, Anglicans and Agnostics, to develop a toolkit for volunteers to use in a personalised way with the at-risk people they mentor. The toolkit will have resources that can be customised as needed to address the building blocks of a balanced, self-reliant life, including education, health, employment, productivity and stewardship, household finances, and spiritual strength.

The basic principles of self-reliance include the following:

  1. 1. Exercise Faith in the Lord or a Higher Power
  2. 2. Use Time Wisely
  3. 3. Be Obedient to Legitimate Temporal and Spiritual Authorities
  4. 4. Manage Money Wisely
  5. 5. Work: Take Responsibility
  6. 6. Solve Problems
  7. 7. Become One, Work Together
  8. 8. Communicate: Petition and Listen
  9. 9. Persevere
  10. 10. Show Integrity
  11. 11. Seek Learning and Education
  12. 12. Stay On Task, Take Responsibility to Serve Others

The Economic Principles of Self-reliance

Is poverty and the lack of empowerment it brings inevitable? No, says author Paul Godfrey, Professor of Strategy and Associate Academic Director of the Melvin J. Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. In his recent book, More than Money, he shows how organizations can win the fight against poverty and create prosperity for people at the base of the pyramid in the developing and developed world.

The Empowerment+ Initiative draws on the principles described by Prof. Godfrey, who presents a novel framework that shows how five types of interrelated capital—institutional, human, social, organizational, and physical—enable development and sustainable growth. In addition to a widely-applicable model, Godfrey provides principles to guide application.  Not just a theoretical examination of poverty, this approach is useful to organizations that produce goods and services, implement policies, and create meaningful change on the ground. This concepts outlined by Godfrey are part of the thinking that will guide social innovators and entrepreneurs in business, government, and civil society settings as they create a vision, assemble a team of strong partners, and effectively measure social innovation that is effective in combatting radicalization.

The following short videos outline the self-reliance economic principles.


Rationale   Groups and Toolkit

Integrative Business   Why UK?

Self-reliance   Global Vision

Support the Work   Collaborators