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The Accidental Social Entrepreneur

Both humorous and realistic, Grant Smith tells the story of his successes and failures as an ordinary businessman inspired to provide jobs in Kenya.

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The remarkable story of one gutsy contractor’s determination to end poverty in Africa

Grant Smith is not an enthusiastic missionary. He’s a problem-solver. When confronted with the desperate problems of poverty he witnessed in Africa, he did the only thing he knew how – business. Business that would provide jobs and pay people enough so that they would not have to rely on charity to send their kids to school, so that none would be forced to live in a tin shed without water, electricity, sewerage, or dignity, fighting off the threat of pneumonia every time it rained. His venture led to a great challenge: become the biggest housebuilder in Kenya.

Both humorous and realistic, Smith tells of his successes and failures with projects as diverse as growing oil crops, a road building scheme, house building, and selling old petrol pumps. With faith in God’s provision – and a little bewilderment – Smith wrestles with difficulties that every entrepreneur knows too well: finding investment funding only to lose it again, acquiring trustworthy business partners, confronting bribery and bureaucracy, corruption and culture. He is not the biggest house builder in Kenya – yet – but Smith has stumbled on a near-miraculous way of unlocking long-term financial provision for local Christian charities.

For those who dream of making a difference for communities affected by poverty, this story is inspiring and thought-provoking. It encourages readers to see how ordinary people have been created for a purpose and have the potential to facilitate miracles. The Accidental Social Entrepreneur is a real challenge to consider how we might use the gifts and resources we have been given to change lives.


‘Laugh-out loud funny and deadly serious about poverty prevention and poverty alleviation.’ 
– Mark Greene, Executive Director, LICC

‘This book will be a favourite pick for anyone keen to know the raw, unedited, and behind-the-scenes story of entrepreneurs.’
– Daniel Kamau, CEO, Fusion Capital

‘A rallying call to all of us to strive for dignity, equality, and justice for all; and a challenge not just to teach a person how to fish, but to equip them to buy the pond.’
– Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, CEO, Christian Aid

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