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 national and international competitions. Business executives judge the competitions and select the winners based on which teams they believe had the most impact.
Enactus stands for:
- Entrepreneurial—having the perspective to see an opportunity and the talent to create value from that opportunity;
- Action—the willingness to do something and the commitment to see it through even when the outcome is not guaranteed;
- Us—a group of people who see themselves connected in some important way; individuals that are part of a greater whole.
Enactus Competitions determine which team ultimately had the most impact, improving the quality of life and standard of living for members of its community through innovative projects and team initiatives.
The competitive format consists of a written annual report and a live audio-visual presentation. Entrepreneurs and executives serve on the panel of judges for the competition.
Enactus at SAU
SAU students involved with Enactus focus on many different projects to help the community. Past projects include:
- 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.
- Service Learning Initiative for Community Enrichment (SLICE): This is a program that raises awareness about the importance of properly disposing of electronic waste, which contains known carcinogens that otherwise end up in landfills and poses a health threat to the community. SLICE 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. Once we realized how successful this model was, 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.
- Building a Business: This project will start a business here on the campus of SAU, specifically in the College of Business. We believe as a team we can run a small business here in the college of business and can effectively build a sustainable income for our Enactus team members for the future. This income will help to fund future projects and businesses to better our community as a whole and further our Enactus team.
- We Heart Magnolia: “Heart” has become a signature project for Enactus SAU. Heart is a project about caring for the community. A few years ago our Enactus team partnered with Living Water, a local women’s shelter. Based in an abandoned retirement home, Living Water is a refuge for abused women. Two years ago our Enactus team went in and did a massive renovation to make this building more comfortable for these women who want nothing more than to get back on their feet. Bedrooms were decorated and an entire wing was cleaned and painted. The team worked tirelessly until the project was up to our high standards of improvement. However, even after all of the work that was done there is still so much more to do. These women deal with leaks and a building that is vastly plain and without color or beauty. The smallest improvements brighten the outlook of those women staying at living water, and that makes the work worthwhile.
If you are interested in working to improve the quality of life and standard of living in our local community, get involved with Enactus. For more information, come to a meeting. We meet every Tuesday at 3:40 PM in room 201 of the Business Building or contact an Enactus Member at Enactus@saumag.edu.