Talking to Matt Bird, a businessman and social entrepreneur from Wimbledon, it is clear he is an enthusiastic communicator, and his passion for God and love for enterprise are striking. Matt is the founder of Cinnamon Network International and two business, Relationology and Rebottling.

Some of those things are explicitly Christian; some of those have Christian values embedded in them,” he explains.

It is through starting businesses and creating jobs that Matt believes the UK will re-emerge from the unemployment crisis it now faces.

Matt on his businesses


Matt runs a business called Relationology which seeks to help leaders and their organisations build effective, rewarding and profitable relationships. He has worked for many years with institutions in the financial and professional services sector – helping them build a culture of relationships.

At the start of lockdown I thought, how can I pivot my business in a way that will help the business leaders I am working with in these crazy times we’re entering into?’ I launched a Relationology Academy where I provide coaching and courses to business leaders. I started Relationology mastermind’ events where I coached a group of leaders over 100 days to define a goal and achieve it. It’s coaching in a group context, in the context of relationships.”

During the pandemic, Matt launched his other business, Rebottling, which provides an at-home wine experience guided by sommeliers. Matt reflected on the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry, and commented about his business:

Rebottling has engaged with lots of freelancers and agencies. It’s created lots of opportunities for people, from photographers to filmmakers, from web designers to restaurants and chefs.”

Matt on Cinnamon Network International

Matt is also involved with Cinnamon Network International, a global non-profit organisation. Originally founded in the UK, Matt has since been invited to help set up networks in other countries.

Cinnamon Network International seeks to help churches transform communities,” he explains.

They develop resources, courses and initiatives that help local churches serve their communities. They support social entrepreneurs to develop a project within the community from their church, and help them replicate and multiply that project. Cinnamon also help civic entrepreneurs’, people who have a passion for helping the church engage with the civic authorities, in a way that catalyses greater collaboration and partnership.

We developed the Cinnamon Faith Action Audit that helps churches in a community work together to measure their collective impact and present it to government and other civic agencies to demonstrate that the Christian faith is a force for good. We’re really trying to help the church communicate the value of what they do in stories, numbers and outcomes.”

Matt on the Spirit of Enterprise

Cinnamon Network International also helps churches get behind business entrepreneurs, in a new initiative called Spirit of Enterprise, which came into fruition during the pandemic as the unemployment crisis began. It’s a global campaign to encourage the God-given gift of enterprise’ and back entrepreneurs with coaching, connection and capital.

Those are the three things you need to start a business. We’re looking at some enterprise grants, also looking at some profit share contracts through which enterprises can gain investors on a shared risk basis.”

A book and course, called The Spirit of Enterprise, are available to equip the church to help people launch businesses.

We’re trying to make it easier for people with ideas to turn them into functioning businesses. The church can create employment opportunities within their communities.”

Matt on job creation and how the church might serve the UK

The UK has seen a catastrophic loss of life during this pandemic, but the economic impact has only just begun. Matt believes more strategic work needs to be done.

I have a transformational view of business, that it can be an agent of change in communities and whilst I love charitable endeavours, the only sustainable solution to poverty is business. You can give food to people forever, which we should do, but it’s not a solution. The only solution to poverty is jobs, employment, enterprise and business.”

Whilst his thinking is practical and logical, Matt’s Christian faith is the foundational motivator for these beliefs.

God created something out of nothing when He created the world. He’s created us in His likeness, therefore we have the spirit to create, the spirit of enterprise, within us. I believe enterprise creates value within society – business creates employment and opportunities for other people. Both to the micro, and national economy.”

Coming out of this pandemic, we need faith-inspired entrepreneurs to step up and create value in society, create jobs and create economic growth” Matt explains. It is the only thing that will pull us out of the impact of this pandemic. We need to think more strategically and long-term than emergency relief. The church could play a key role in pulling the country out of where we’ve got to.”


I was struck by the challenge in Matt’s words, not only for people to start businesses for their own sake and fortune, but to consider the benefits a new enterprise could have for others, in terms of job opportunities.

My conversation with Matt is the third in a series of interviews I have conducted with Christians in leadership, as part of our Job Creation Project. The Evangelical Alliance seeks to encourage the church to step into the unemployment crisis wherever possible, as a means by which to love our neighbour and demonstrate the character of God to our communities.

On the 22 April, 1 – 2pm the Evangelical Alliance is launching a new prayer resource to equip the church to pray into the unemployment crisis as part of our Job Creation Project. Join us as we’re guided through the resource with the help of pastor Andy Palmer, Rachel Gregory from CAP, entrepreneur Dave Linton and other guest speakers, with opportunities to listen to personal experiences and pray along.

"Coming out of this pandemic, we need faith-inspired entrepreneurs to step up and create value in society, create jobs and create economic growth"