11 Characteristics of ELO
1. The Entrepreneurial Spirit
ELO was started due to the conviction that Christians are called to the marketplace. Entrepreneurial and innovative people, in particular, can have an exponential impact if their passion and energy are harnessed for Kingdom-building purposes.
2. Entrepreneurship For All
Entrepreneurship is for everyone. Think in terms of the process rather than the person. Not everyone can found and grow a wildly successful company—but everyone can become more entrepreneurial, seeking creative solutions to pressing problems. ELO is about empowering people to look for ways to apply creativity and an innovative spirit in all of their endeavours.
3. Sustainable Social Venture
The focus of ELO is to provide a service of value to its constituency at a fair market value which will allow ELO to continue to exist and pursue its vision and mission. ELO is a non-profit organization, but it is not a registered charity offering tax-deductible receipts. In essence, ELO is a social venture: it serves a non-commercial purpose and generates revenue in order to sustain operations.
4. Thought Leadership
ELO strives to provide thought leadership in the area of a Christian approach to entrepreneurial leadership. All ELO events draw upon thought leaders from prestigious academic institutions around the world. Past conferences have included speakers from McGill, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Baylor, Thunderbird Graduate School of Management, and Regent College.
5. Research Core
At the core of ELO is an extensive base of research into the area of Christian entrepreneurial leadership. This is the world’s pioneering and ongoing research study of over 300 Christian entrepreneurs from around the world. The output has included many edited and authored books, countless articles and blog posts, and a basis for public presentations.
An important aspect of ELO is to facilitate the imparting of wisdom and insight from one generation of leaders to the next. The knowledge of entrepreneurs is often not captured. The role of ELO is to gather this information, derive key lessons, and then disseminate that information to the next generation of leaders. We believe good theology will lead to good entrepreneurship.
7. Global Network
The Entrepreneurial Leaders Conferences are expanding globally through a joint initiative with World Evangelical Alliance, which represents 600 million Christians worldwide. There is a hunger for learning how to apply faith in the marketplace and to connect with other like-minded people. WEA provides an excellent global network. Previous events have taken place in Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Singapore.
ELO is a volunteer-driven organization. The organization succeeds only because a wide array of people volunteer their time and energy to the cause. People continue to join us because they see the value of what is being done and they want to be part of it.
ELO is very clear about what it does and what it intends to do. Various groups minister or work with business people in the marketplace. ELO works with these groups, and is precisely focused on the organization high-level, large-scale, international conferences.
10. Online Resource
One of ELO’s goals is to be the leading online resource for Christian entrepreneurs around the world and we are on track with this goal. ELO’s website, through word of mouth alone, is getting over 75,000 unique visitors annually and continues to grow rapidly. The website provides access to extensive publications and video resources.
A core aspect of the effectiveness of ELO and gathering together large numbers of people is to facilitate collaboration from throughout the Christian spectrum. This often means breaking down denominational, ethnic, and cultural silos. Further, this means breaking down the tradition and inertia of having always done things a certain way. Times have changed rapidly but Christian organizations often do not. ELO is about getting together, uniting on core issues, and having a greater impact throughout our society.