The Von Hügel Institute

Welcome to Transforming Business!

Transforming Business is an innovative research and development project in the University of Cambridge.

Enterprise Solutions to Poverty

Transforming Business analyzes and catalyzes the contribution of Christianity and entrepreneurship to human and environmental well-being. Its focus is on enterprise solutions to poverty.

We are interested in practical solutions – "what works?"

In finding answers to this question, we pay particular attention to the role of faith in building social capital – the institutional, relational, moral and spiritual aspects of society.

Social scientists increasingly agree that social capital is fundamental to business success, economic development and well-being, and that Christianity is one of its key contributors.

Through innovative research and instruction we aim to channel the rising concern about global poverty in fresh directions that will deliver tangible improvement and genuine opportunities for people in poverty, based on a biblical, holistic approach to what it means to be human.

We use robust, creative, and multi-disciplinary thinking, along with practical models and case studies, to discover and disseminate the most effective means by which Christian faith integrates with enterprise to provide sustainable routes out of poverty.

Located at a major research university with an international reputation for excellence, the project is global in its research and outreach. It has particularly strong links with business schools but works in an inter-disciplinary way across a number of disciplines. It also enjoys close relations with the real world of business, both locally and globally.

The aims of the project are summarized in the adjacent column.

For more information on the project, visit the "About" section.

Belief in Enterprise

Transforming Business teamed up with the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, to launch an exciting research and outreach initiative called Belief in Enterprise. Click here to find out more.

Support Transforming Business

Join us in understanding and fostering virtuous enterprise for the common good!

Donations to Transforming Business are received by the Von Hügel Institute (VHI) at St Edmund's College, where the project is based. The VHI has charitable status, which enables tax-efficient giving.


New Video

Transforming Business has taken part in an international initiative called Poverty Cure. A major TV documentary has been produced by Poverty Cure that contains an interview with Transforming Business' Peter Heslam. A two-minute clip is available here.

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Our Aims

The project aims to examine and disseminate:

  • the role of Christian faith and enterprise in the alleviation of poverty;
  • the factors that stimulate 'the spirit of enterprise';
  • the contribution of faith-based social capital to transformative business;
  • ethical frameworks that promote successful business;
  • case studies and practical models that inform, motivate and multiply poverty-reducing enterprise.

Recent Publication

Against the background of the global economic crisis of 2007-10, Peter Heslam engages with the pitfalls and potential of contemporary business in Transforming Capitalism: Entrepreneurship and the Renewal of Thrift. With only 32 pages, it's designed for busy people.

Project Completion

Transforming Business is pleased to announce the successful completion of a daughter project at the University of Oxford called the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative (ELI). To see some of ELI's activities, click here.