S8E1: Donna Harris on Faith & Entrepreneurship

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Summary

What role does faith play in the life and work of Christian entrepreneurs? What unique challenges do female entrepreneurs face in the workplace and the church? Joanna and Dustin talk with Donna Harris, founder and CEO of Builders & Backers and a founding member of K Street Capital, about her work as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist and how her faith shapes her work.

Highlights

On the role of faith for entrepreneurs:

“Entrepreneurs are not just serving, but solving what’s broken as a way for us to come together and be unified as the body of Christ. God has shown me through my journey that no one entrepreneur, no one funder, is going to fix these big problems. These are the kinds of problems that need all of us.”

On entrepreneurship and Scripture:

“The book of Nehemiah is one of my favorites because who doesn’t love the phrase, ‘Let us rise up and build’? That’s the stereotypical entrepreneurial biblical phrase, but what’s fascinating is how they built: it was each one building in front of his home and it was men and women, it was the public sector and private sector. It was the priests and it was the business leaders and it was everyday people. It’s a beautiful image of the collective nature of the need to build.”

On finding community as a female Christian entrepreneur:

“We have a certain expectation of what a Christian woman looks like, sounds like, acts like, how she gets involved in her ministry. I participate in a Saturday morning Bible study; we never talk about things like how to behave when you meet a world leader, but I do that regularly. It’s very hard to find a peer group and it often feels like the entrepreneur and the CEO part of me gets minimized to make the Christian woman part of me fit.”

On the challenge of faith and work at church:

“I’ve been a Christian for a couple of decades. I’ve been an entrepreneur for those same couple of decades. I’ve met presidents, kings, queens. I influence entrepreneurs and country leaders around the world. I have never had someone in a pastoral role or a leadership role in my church ask if they could pray over my influence. I’ve never been invited to bring that skillset into a church environment. Why would God gift me with all these tremendous gifts and talents and not want me to use those things?”

Resources

Hear more from Donna as part of our upcoming event RESILIENT: Women, Work, & Calling 2020.

Learn more about Donna’s work at Builders & Backers.

Download the episode transcript.

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