Stewardship - Inspire April 09 - giving in India
How two enterprising individuals are seeing their new Indian business gather support
With loyal groups of supporters, close friends and business partners, JoJo Blythen and Tanya Clarke are embarking on an exciting new venture to deliver God’s message of hope and love to the poor in rural India.
But Tanya, a graduate of textile design, and JoJo, a retail business manager, are not missionaries, as they explain:
“Over the next 20 years, more than two billion people of working age will enter societies around the world where there are few churches and very few jobs. We can all do something to change this – we want to make a difference.”
Enter Tanya and JoJo’s new venture, Betty & Betts, a sustainable Christian enterprise that will use local rural suppliers in India to produce high quality goods for sale locally and here in the UK.
For Tanya and JoJo, the principle is simple: “Business can bring dignity and empowerment. It can provide opportunities for discipleship – professionally and spiritually. It can promote environmental stewardship. It can bring stability and peace and it can support the Church and bring the Gospel.”
Their new venture is possible thanks in part to the strong base of supporters that they have each built up in recent years.
“Since leaving university God has called me to India, where I’ve been living and working for the last three years amongst the poor,” explains Tanya. “I’ve been blessed to have my church, plus a close group of 10 people supporting me every step of the way.”
It’s a fairly diverse group, but all are united in their support of the pair. “I’ve been pro-active in recruiting some of my supporters, but many have simply heard and been moved by the vision and want to share in this work.”
It’s an experience that JoJo shares: “Raising financial support is an exciting opportunity to share with people how they can be involved in the vision.
“Leaving a full-time management role to focus on Betty & Betts was a challenging time for many reasons, but leaving behind the perceived security and stability of a regular pay cheque had to be the biggest.
“However, I quickly realised that this stability was nothing compared to what God could offer through the support and encouragement of my family and friends.”
This generous financial support has been made all the more effective through the Sovereign Account from Stewardship. The account enables tax to be reclaimed under Gift Aid and added to their supporters’ original gifts – which means they receive an extra 25%.
Tanya adds: “The financial support given through our Sovereign Accounts has made a profound difference to our life and work in India. It means that, thanks to the additional 25% that we receive from our supporters’ Gift Aid, we can live without just scraping by.
“With support taken care of we can therefore put all our energy into seeing lives radically transformed!”
In partnership with their supporters back home, Tanya and JoJo are confident that God is behind them in their new work in India. “With their help we can make Betty & Betts a vibrant enterprise which not only provides jobs but also gives us the opportunity to witness to employees, suppliers and customers, honestly and with integrity.”
With more than a little help from their friends and supporters, Tanya and JoJo’s business is on a mission.
To learn more about Tanya & JoJo’s work in India, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sovereign Account from Stewardship allows Christian workers and Bible college students to raise their personal financial support tax effectively, through Gift Aid. To see if you qualify for an account which gives you 25% extra, visit www.stewardship.org.uk