BWP survey

Business with Purpose Survey 2020

Over the years there has been a growing call on businesses to pursue a purpose beyond profit. Amongst Christians specifically, there has been an increased focus on integrating faith and work. These simultaneous trends have had pockets of positive impact on society worldwide.

Mergon has been pursuing ‘business with purpose’ from a deep-seated conviction of calling and stewardship for 40 years. However, the learning never ceases and thus Mergon wants to intentionally keep journeying with other business leaders and organisations who are Kingdom-focused. To gain a better understanding of this landscape, Mergon recently conducted a Business with Purpose Survey that presented some insightful results. (Note that the results change as you apply filters to the data.)

Of the 263 respondents, 177 (67%) are employers (versus employees), 189 (72%) are in private business, and 67% of the respondents do business solely in South Africa (see the international locations here). Of the employers, 28% have an annual turnover of R1m – R5m, and 25% have an annual turnover of R10m –  R50m. Of those who identify as employees, 19% work for companies with an annual turnover of R10m – R50m, and 16% work for companies with an annual turnover of R100m – R500m (11% of employees work at listed companies).

When asked to define what ‘Kingdom business’ means to them, the top three responses were:

  • To always do business in an ethical way.
  • To create a culture of valuing employees.
  • To do your work excellently and skillfully.

It seems that more employers feel their actions have a Kingdom impact than employees (86% of employers vs 77% of employees). Positively, both categories feel that their local church affirms the value of business, beyond its financial benefit to the church (67%). However, despite 54% of respondents being part of a peer community of Christian business leaders where they can discuss relevant issues and share learnings, the top three issues that Christian business leaders face, were identified as:

  • A lack of Christian mentors.
  • Very high levels of stress.
  • A lack of like-minded business community.

The most significant finding is that 93% of respondents listed a need to have better access to high-quality resources (focused on the South African context) to support them in their Kingdom impact. 

Business is an incredible platform at the forefront of shaping culture. Hence, supporting, equipping and inspiring business leaders to live out their faith in a way that makes much of God and redeems the city, culture, and industry in which God has placed them is something Mergon is committed to pursuing. The Business With Purpose Survey has stirred some ideas: watch this space!

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