No Free Lunch: Economics for a Fallen World: Third Edition, Revised

Chapter Nine: P31W: Enter the Entrepreneur! 200 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates. We will see in this chapter that a free market system needs more than just free markets. It needs problem solvers who are willing and able to bear risk, to make prudent forecasts of the future, to properly appraise values, and someone who is alert to opportunities and willing to act. The unnamed Proverbs 31 woman (P31W, hereafter) fits all of these categories and more—she may well be the ultimate entrepreneur. She is an incredibly important biblical example of entrepreneurship for many reasons. First, we see she was very effective; every one of her actions led to a good result. Second, she modeled diligence both in her hard work as well as her charitable heart in action. Third, this combination of action and attitude is highly commended in the Bible—it offers an unconditional model of service. The P31W epitomizes John Wesley’s admonition to make all you can, save all you can, and give all you can! When you do this, people will bless you and praise you. Many have done nobly, but you excel them all! This chapter will give you an appreciation of the necessity of entrepreneurship to deal with an uncertain future, as well as define some of the most important traits and characteristics of entrepreneurs. The P31W will be our model for the ideal entrepreneur, although we will also introduce other biblical examples of entrepreneurship.