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Bible studies

Bible study: The cottage industry

There is much we can learn from the example of the family in Proverbs 31:10-31

1998 Available in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese

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From: Microenterprise – Footsteps 35

Ideas and advice for developing successful small businesses

The cottage industry 

All families want prosperity and progress. There is much we can learn from the example of the family in Proverbs 31:10- 31.

Planning ahead Earning a reward for honest work is a biblical principle (v11). Raw materials are needed, (v13) labour (in this case her own), and knowledge of what to produce (in this case linen clothes). Marketing the goods (v14, 24) may involve a lot of effort – travelling far to search for good customers.

Investing profits In v16 we read of how her work brings profits which she invests wisely in land and vines. This implies her work force will need to increase producing more work and profit. She looks out for ways of expanding her business. In v19 we read of how she begins spinning wool.

Management v18 suggests that she is in control with good management systems.

Production What do her customers think about her work and its quality? (v11, 25, 28, 29) What are the practical results of her business work? (v16, 19, 24, 22, 25)

Discussion questions

  • What place does God's direction play in a small business (v30)
  • What should be done with profits (v16, 20)
  • How does she work?
  • How do those around her view her activities?

This lady is an example of how anyone can run a successful small business. She is a hard working, clear thinking business woman who brings benefits to her husband and family. As we learn from the different articles in this issue, we can see that this lady has put all the recommendations into practice!

Milton Espinel is an education coordinator with Alfalit, Apdo 3577, Cali, Colombia who has found this Bible text a huge blessing to those he shares it with.

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