Peter Heslam — Dignity in Business & Wealth Creation

Cambridge University, UK

What lifts the poor is the creation of wealth and the empowerment and the dignity and the self-reliance that comes from that.

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Peter Heslam—Transforming Business

Dr. Peter Heslam directs Transforming Business, a multidisciplinary research and development project at the University of Cambridge that analyzes and catalyzes enterprise solutions to poverty. He is particularly interested in the moral and spiritual dimensions of business and has a research focus on the convergence of Christianity and entrepreneurship in developing countries.

Peter Heslam—Academic Background

Peter is a CARTS Fellow at the Faculty of Divinity and a senior member of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He is also an Associate Fellow of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Peter holds degrees from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Peter Heslam—Speaking, Writing and Advising

Peter has addressed university and business audiences around the world, and is a prolific writer in the field of ethical entrepreneurship and development. His publications include Globalization: Unraveling the New Capitalism, Globalization and the Good, and Transforming Capitalism: Entrepreneurship and the Renewal of Thrift. He also has published a book with Eerdmans on the theologian, statesman and social philosopher Abraham Kuyper entitled Creating a Christian Worldview. Having served as an advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury on globalization and as the Convenor of JustShare (a consortium of global development agencies based in London), he currently serves in an advisory capacity to Faith in Business Quarterly, Pioneers of Prosperity, Business Fights Poverty, and Beyond Profit. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University and has close links with its Center for Integrity in Business.


  • Asking the Wrong Questions

    Too much of the development debate is looking at the question of poverty: How do we define it? What are the causes of poverty? But the real question about poverty is the question of wealth: how do we create wealth? So this is the question that Adam Smith addressed in his famous book The Wealth of Nations: what causes that wealth?

  • Made in the Image of God

    In the Judeo-Christian tradition, there’s the belief that human beings are made in the image of God, so they have the spark of divinity in them and poverty degrades and defaces the image of God in people. That’s why it’s a scandal.

  • The Mindset of the Entrepreneur

    In my work on what actually creates wealth, I stress the virtue of thrift, and thrift, at its core, is about the delay of gratification. It’s saying no to consuming things today for the sake of a better tomorrow. So it’s forward thinking and that kind of mindset is the mindset of an entrepreneur.”

  • God as the Great Entrepreneur

    Perhaps we find in the Creation story a picture of God as the Great Entrepreneur, when He starts His start-up company, the world, and He sets Adam and Eve in it and He says, “Get to work as stewards of My enterprise.

  • Wealth Creation

    What lifts the poor is the creation of wealth and the empowerment and the dignity and the self-reliance that comes from that.