Jerry describes himself as an "entrepreneur through and through". He started a business at school, when his goal was to "make pots of money". But after graduating from university with an economics degree, Jerry became a Christian, which transformed the way he saw business.

Like many entrepreneurs, Jerry has faced setbacks but hasn’t let these deter him. After being made redundant twice, Jerry became self-employed. He went on to set up a number of enterprises including a tech company, a social enterprise and a call centre in Palestine.

With all this experience, Jerry is an invaluable voice into the Evangelical Alliance’s Job creation project.

He says, I think I’ve taken more risks since becoming a Christian, because I know my home and my treasure is secure.”


Although supposedly retired, Jerry now splits his time across three projects: 

Jerry on starting a call centre

Transcend is a call centre in Palestine which Jerry, who remains the chairman, describes as a model for creating jobs.

Don’t start with what will make the most money; ask, where are the resources, what are the constraints, what are the opportunities?” he says.

In 2004, Jerry took a group of business people to Palestine. Working with local Christian business people, they brainstormed Ideas to create robust jobs that would survive a curfew or even a lockdown. Together, they came up with the call centre. This used the language skills in Bethlehem, where lots of people can speak both English and Arabic, and they were able to create a lot of jobs. The idea was to serve companies selling into the Gulf, providing a bi-lingual voice service. They offer market research, telesales and customer support – an invisible export that can’t be stopped.

The hope was that if the Palestinian economy could thrive, then peace was more likely to survive,” Jerry comments.

The company was founded by three Christians who invested to create the call centre.

It nearly went bust in the first year, but it was God’s plan and just when it was beyond our powers, everything got sorted and a venture capital company invested in it.”

Now the call centre and software developer employs 155 people, and Jerry hopes to get it up to 1,000 staff. One of the aims is to model integrity and gender equality, and the first CEO was a woman. Employees are coming away with a better knowledge of English and a better understanding of standards for customer care, and therefore benefitting the wider economy when they move on.

We are modelling something different, a better way of treating staff. Our biggest client is an Israeli company, so we are working across the divide,” Jerry says.

Jerry on his entrepreneurial network

Transformational Enterprise Network, which Jerry Marshall also established, is about galvanising people with business skills, and inspiring them to use their skills and resources for kingdom purposes. TEN aims to place people where they are needed and called, and link them up.

We have small groups that provide support and accountability which I think is really important. Entrepreneurs need to be kept accountable and need to be seen to be part of the church. In the tech company I started in the UK, the three of us kept ourselves accountable to our church leaders,” says Jerry.

Jerry doesn’t think there should be any boundary between secular and sacred, as we can serve God in regular businesses, and we can pray for our staff who aren’t Christians.

I remember a salesman who was moved to tears because we prayed for him, even though he wasn’t a Christian,” he says.

Jerry on his business-starting resource

Jerry wants to encourage churches to run a programme he’s designed, Mind your own business, to help people set up small businesses or create jobs for themselves. 

Jerry’s hope is that business people in churches, with any amount of experience, will invite anyone in the church who would like to become self-employed, start up a small business or social enterprise, to go through the workbook a section at a time.

There’s a big boom in pet services at the moment. One of the people on the course wants to set up a pet grooming business. Hopefully she’ll end up doing something she loves doing, that pays a decent wage. She’ll have done all the work beforehand to know what she’s offering at what price to whom and how she’s going to communicate it, and knows whether she’s going to make a profit before she puts any money into it. Hopefully she will flourish as a result. That’s the dream.”

Jerry has felt God’s timing at work as he’s launched the course: Everything was in place just before the pandemic struck, and that really felt like God’s timing. Perhaps this was the time it was made for.”

He hopes the course will help people who have become unemployed during the pandemic to find a way forward.

Jerry on the church and entrepreneurs

Jerry dreams that the church will embrace entrepreneurs and keep them accountable as they set about doing the work that God has called them to. He thinks we could all affirm business people in our churches by inviting them to share what they do. In doing this, the church acknowledges the role people play as part of the body of Christ and could pray for them.

I also think that churches need entrepreneurs to be part of leading a church. The church in Acts was a risk-taking church. Mission has to involve risk, so the church needs risk-takers. Let’s be sensible, mitigate risks, but give things a go.”

Jerry on Christians creating jobs

Jerry affirms the importance of jobs, not just for the obvious benefit of providing an income and getting many people out of poverty, but for the self-esteem that comes with it.

We worship a creative God and I think He longs for us to be creative. And for some of us, our particular role in the body is to be entrepreneurs. There are some people, crazy though it may seem, who love creating something from nothing. It isn’t for everyone and that’s fine because there are lots of other things that need to be done.”

When it comes to being a distinctive employer, Jerry believes that a Christian attitude to money is key: We can be salt and light by modelling something different. If you mention that you’re tithing, it really shocks people and makes them think you’re serious and maybe there’s something in it. Obviously, we shouldn’t go around saying how much we give away, but it’s the money thing, it really makes people think.”


As Jerry and I spoke, it was so clear that his desire is not to make a name for himself, or to make pots of money” as in his teen years; he clearly longs to see others escape poverty and flourish, and for God to be glorified in the process. His servant-hearted attitude and passion were inspiring to me, and hopefully will be for many others.

My conversation with Jerry is the seventh 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, to love our neighbours and demonstrate the character of God to our communities.

"We worship a creative God and I think He longs for us to be creative. And for some of us, our particular role in the body is to be entrepreneurs."