What is it?
Formerly know as SIFE, Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world.
Enactus teams present the results of their community projects annually at regional, national, and international competitions. Business executives judge the competitions and select the winners based on which teams they believe had the most impact.
The Enactus Overall Competitions (Regional, National, and International) provide teams with the opportunity to compete against each other and ultimately determine which team had the most impact improving the quality of life and standard of living for member of its community through innovative projects and team initiatives.
The competitive format consists of a written annual report and a live audio-visual presentation, which the teams present to a panel of entrepreneurs and executives who are serving as judges.
Enactus at SAU
This year the group focused on many different projects to help the community, including:
- Students Acquiring Knowledge through Entrepreneurship (SAKE): This project teaches principles of economics and free enterprise to elementary students. During their full day on our campus, attendees develop an understanding of ethical terms, discover the importance of financial responsibility, cultivate entrepreneurship by developing and marketing products, and realize the significance of a post-secondary education.
- Dispose of Electronic Waste (DEW): This is a program that raises awareness about the importance of properly disposing electronic waste, which contains known carcinogens that otherwise end up in landfills and poses a health threat to the community. DEW brought the entire city of Magnolia together to collect and properly dispose of more than 5000 pounds of electronic waste; this was achieved in partnership with ninth grade leadership students, by teaching them to design the project, produce a marketing strategy to inform the public, and then properly implement the e-waste collection.
Realizing that DEW provided a successful, comprehensive project planning model for project development, the Enactus group decided to leverage our previous success into a project called Service Learning Initiative for Community Enrichment (SLICE). We took our SLICE model to middle schools in five different cities throughout our region. Our model provided ideas to help the students inform the local community of the dangers of electronic waste, as well as motivated ninth graders to take the initiative to learn marketing skills and to develop projects. SLICE also provided financial support for cognitively challenged individuals and federal prisoners.
- Superhero Showdown: The event, in partnership with Walgreens, sought to help conquer childhood obesity. Children ran through a fitness obstacle course set up to not only get their bodies moving, but also to get their minds thinking about healthy choices. They traversed a total of eight obstacles, including a Marshmallow Mountain and Twinkie Tunnel. Captain Walgreens was also on hand to battle an unhealthy villain, Captain Calorie, who stole all of the healthy food in Magnolia and replaced it with bad food options.
- We Heart Magnolia: “Heart” has become a signature project for Enactus SAU. Following up on past successes, our third “Heart” targeted the underserved population of the victims of domestic violence. The members of Enactus sought to make a difference by helping local entrepreneur, Sondra Atkinson, and Living Waters, a refuge for abused women. Living Waters is housed in an outdated nursing home, in serious need of refurbishment. Working with local contractors and energy efficiency experts, we performed a facility-wide energy efficiency upgrade, including new appliances, light bulbs and repairs to the building. We designed and implemented better financial controls and accounting procedures to help with budgeting and money management. Also, working with a member of our business advisory board, we created personalized development plans to help empower these abused women better prepare for their future.For our fourth “Heart”, we turned our attention to help the abused children in our area who are removed from their homes with no temporary safe haven available to shelter them. The Enactus group teamed up with Sondra Eiler, who convinced a local philanthropist to donate a vacant house to be used as a temporary refuge for the children. The house is in significant need of repairs, but we have developed a plan to turn the house into the safe and comfortable retreat these children deserve. Our project is currently on hold while we wait on IRS approval of our requested 501c3 status for the project, which will allow the donor to make the gift of the house with a “tax-exempt” status.
For more information on how to get involved contact Dr. James Clark at 870-235-4313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.