Social Enterprise to me means engaging with people to meet needs through productivity (work); doing it profitably, and using positive revenue for doing good. That’s why one of our tag lines is “in business for good.” It sounds fun and fulfilling, and it is... when the universe is cooperating. As you know, the universe hasn’t been very cooperative this year.
We do have things to be thankful for. Frontline Business Solutions (FBS), our management consulting service, remains open and at work because our workforce was able to set up and work from home. And the clients still need work done. We praise God immensely for that!
However, the case for our sewing factory, Frontline Threadworks, Inc. (FTW) has been much different. When the lockdown occurred, “non-essential” manufacturing sectors were not allowed to maintain on-site workers. Most people could not even leave their homes. So all 60 workers were suddenly without a job. Besides that, our clients were also inoperable, and unable to place or receive orders.
This has not been fun. It’s been difficult, and sad. Throughout these months, and thanks to numerous donors, our ministry was able to buy and distribute basic food supplies to hundreds of affected families throughout our area. Among the most thankful of recipients were our sewing factory workers. We were happy we could continue to be a blessing, but it certainly is not enough.
The economy remains highly dysfunctional. Millions remain without work. Employment and financial repercussions are huge. In some ways we’re in wait-and-see mode, praying, and hoping for a breakthrough to go back to work together and meet abundant client needs once again. And while we can now employ a lower level work-force (and have been doing so as possible), the ability of clients in the garment industry to operate at capacity is yet to rebound.
Well, they say God has a sense of humor. This may support that: At such a time as this, the Lord opened the door for FTW to receive an expansion investment. I know, “go figure.” So on the positive side, FTW is currently building a new factory, which will allow us to expand from 60 workers to as many as 180. The expansion was made possible through a loan from a Christian investment organization. So it seems in the face of such bleakness, God is preparing us for more fun and successful operations.
We certainly hope so. This is the first time in our nearly 40 years of ministry that we have been offered and taken on debt for expansion. Please pray that the economy increasingly opens and robust orders come back; not only to service the liability but that our workforce can come back to work and we can continue blessing others in the name of the Lord.
Working while it’s day,
Director of Social Enterprise Ministries
Philippine Frontline Ministries, Inc.
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