Sauder students on UBC’s Enactus team took home two regional first place awards and an opening round runner-up at the national level this year, further than any UBC team has made it before in the annual showcase of impactful entrepreneurship.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Nichoson Nguyen, a third year BCom student and the team’s incoming VP Finance. “I had the chance to hear about the enormous impact in communities made by over 50 Enactus teams across Canada.”
UBC Enactus is a social enterprise club that runs sustainable entrepreneurial projects to solve community problems. The team runs three projects: Spend it Right, Green Pursuit and Bizkit.
Spend it Right equips high-school students with financial knowledge to present their own business plan to Fair Trade Vancouver. Green Pursuit collaborates with biological chemical engineers to turn UBC’s cooking oil into usable bio-diesel. Bizkit is a collaboration with Strathcona Community Centre, The Sharing Farm, and God’s Little Acre Farm to improve their environmental footprint.
Spend it Right and Green Pursuit were UBC’s winning projects in the regional competition for Western Canada. Judges made special mention of Spend it Right’s success in educating 150 high school students on financial issues through 48 interactive workshops. From there, they qualified for nationals.
The Enactus Canada National Exposition is a three-day long event. Students meet fellow student leaders, participate in professional development workshops, and learn from industry leaders like this year’s keynote, entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den panellist Brett Wilson. The 2015 national competition was the biggest yet, with 58 teams competing and 1,400 people in attendance from May 11-13 in Toronto.
“It was challenging at first,” said Connie Hsu, the team’s president and a third year accounting student, “but working with a group of talented individuals who shared my vision of what Enactus UBC could become really motivated me to lead the team to this victory.”
Moving forward, Hsu, who will continue as president next year, says they’ve been inspired by their success to “create an additional project to increase the breadth of our impact and continue to improve upon our governing structure for sustainable growth in our team.”
The student-run Enactus UBC is part of a network of 1,700 Enactus chapters of over 70,000 students across 36 countries.