Inspiration for a New Business Through Service
Impact Investing Through Leveraging Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Brand
At Impact Foundation, we get excited about people launching businesses for God’s glory. We recently got to know Joseph Cherry, who is working to provide for insurance needs in a God honoring way.
After successful careers in the musical sales and financial services business, Joe was ready for a new challenge. So, during May 2013, he went on a 4-day fast and committed to God to sow (invest and give) 90% of his personal income to the work of the Kingdom of God on earth, and to live on 10% of his income.
The very next day, while driving, Joe saw a sign announcing a new Wal-Mart Store opening in his area. He felt God speak to his heart to contact Wal-Mart and try to begin a business relationship. Having spent his Saturdays serving meals to homeless men, Joe developed a burden to help. Over time that burden grew into an idea to offer affordable insurance to help people land on their feet even after the toughest life situations.
He called the local Wal-Mart store manager, and met with him, but nothing came of that, so he began calling Wal-Mart’s corporate office. As a tenacious entrepreneur, Joseph pursued a multi-year process of discussion and negotiation which resulted in Wal-Mart agreeing to host his independent insurance agencies in Walmart SuperCenters. The first store location opened Sept. 14, 2017 in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The plan is to develop a national network of local independent insurance agencies located in Wal-Mart’s brick and mortar storefronts, aligned with a strong centralized structure, digital architecture and overall management and development strategy. SmartLife Insurance plans to build a projected network of over 2,200 independent insurance agencies over a nine-year period. Although the agencies will be conveniently located inside of Walmart SuperCenters, they will operate as traditional, full lines insurance agencies writing personal and commercial lines of business and will solicit and write business not only from the many thousands of customers that will pass by each office on a daily basis, but also from traditional marketing, established community business relationships, business network participation and active community involvement.
“My dream has always been to be an entrepreneur in business with God,” said Cherry, who has read over 300 biographies of successful business leaders. He admires David Green and his sons, the owners of Hobby Lobby; the late Truett Cathy and his family, the owners of Chick-Fil-A; Warren Buffett, and Steve Wynn.
While a strong financial returns are a key (projections are in the 5X+ ROI) “SmartLife Insurance agencies will operate with honesty and integrity to build long term relationships with all of their valued clients and everyone they do business with,” said Cherry.
SmartLife Insurance is currently raising capital and their focus on running a redemptive business, providing great jobs, and serving with excellence aligns them with our mission at Impact Foundation.