Here’s our story, straight from the horse’s mouth (or, more specifically, from our founder’s keyboard):
“The Trade as One story has its roots in an idea that wouldn’t leave my head. Since leaving college about 20 years ago I have been working in the software industry, based in the UK. About seven years ago I began to get very uncomfortable with lot of things in my life - how I was as a father, a husband, a supposed follower of this radical person Jesus Christ. I was playing the usual game of saying that I was trying to ‘balance’ all the different priorities in my life but, in reality, almost my whole life’s energies had been poured into my career. It’s such a pathetic story -
working far too many hours in a day, spending more than 50% of my time away from home, usually in another part of the world and on long-haul flights - Asia, the US or mainland Europe.
It was at this point that God began to show me how His heart breaks for the poor - for a broken world, broken in so many ways that I couldn’t see from the aircraft cabin at 39,000 feet or from the fast lane of the freeway - broken spiritually, socially, environmentally, economically. And that the poor, at the bottom of the pile, have a very special place in his heart and his intentions.
Then there was this curious, and I guess rather obvious, connection made in my head between my background in business that creates jobs - and bringing good news to the poor. My wife and I began to take trips to India and Africa. We saw about 25 different ventures on the front lines that were using business to bring jobs to people otherwise on a dollar a day. The profound and lasting transformation of the communities reached in this way made a very deep impression on us. On each visit, I would ask, “How can I help you?” The answers were nearly unanimous. “We need a route to market in America,” they would say. “We need you to tell our story.”
So that’s why we’re here. That’s what Trade as One is. A way for us to tell stories of lives redeemed and hope restored, all because people choose to spend their money the right way. People keep choosing to buy the things they need in a way that makes sure that people on the other side of the world have the things they need.”