Business and Small Enterprise


By popular demand.  Over the past 30 years, extreme poverty has been cut in half due not only our efforts, but because of governments around the world embracing markets.  We will investigate how enterprise solutions to poverty can be the most sustaining and effective programs for our beneficiaries. 

This track will include four 75-minute break-out sessions examining one facet of the Business and Small Enterprise Solutions.  


Session 1: Business and Alleviating Poverty/Doing Both Faithfully

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Jesse Casler, HOPE Intl.

Jesse has been with HOPE since 2004. He has a B.A. from Eastern Nazarene College and both an M.A. and an MBA from Boston University. The field of microfinance falls at the intersection of these degrees, combining Jesse’s heart for developing countries and his business expertise. Prior to and during his graduate work, Jesse gained experience in international banking at State Street Corporation’s international headquarters in Massachusetts and later at a subsidiary of Advent Software. He has traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America working in the finance, accounting, operations, and administration teams while at HOPE. He has served as a church board member and treasurer and is deeply committed to HOPE’s Christian mission. Jesse and his wife, Krista, live in Lancaster, PA, with their two sons.


Session 2: The Missing Link: Developing Entrepreneurial Capacity

Roxanne De Graf, Partners Worldwide

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Roland Hoksbergen, Calvin College

Prof. Hoksbergen received a Ph.D. in Economics from University of Notre Dame (1986). His academic fields include economics, economic development and economic methodology. Prof. Hoksbergen's current research interests include the role of civil society in Third World development and strengthening partnership networks among non-government organizations. Professor Hoksbergen also serves as director of the International Development Studies program. Prior to coming to Calvin College, Prof. Hoksbergen worked for the Christian Reformed Church World Relief Committee.


Session 3: The Challenges and Consequences of Good Intentions

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Johanna Ryan, VisionFund


Session 4: Business and Entrepreneurship Panel

A Summary Panel of all the above presenters in one setting.