Motivations, Backgrounds, and Practices of Business as Mission Practitioners: Insights from an International Survey


Crowell School of Business

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“Business as mission” (BAM) was introduced to the Christian missions community during the 2004 Lausanne conference in Pattaya, Thailand. Since then, interest in BAM has grown exponentially, and with it, demand for support services, training, and financing. For all the attention, however, scholarly research in this area has not kept pace, and there remain many unknowns about the personal and contextual factors that contribute to the impact and sustainability of a BAM enterprise. Seeking to address that gap, this paper builds on insights from the social entrepreneurship literature that enable us to construct a typology that distinguishes between four basic types of BAM practitioner. While all four seek to advance the cause of Christ using business, and thus fit the basic definition of BAM, each brings a different combination of motivations, backgrounds and practices. The relevance of those differences are then explored using survey data collected from 119 self-defined BAM practitioners around the world. We also identify several essential business practices that are correlated with strong economic and social impact. Implications for further research are discussed.


BAM; Business as mission;

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