Enactus Saint Mary's Social Enterprise Projects Mean Regional Wins
Date Published: March 27, 2017
On Friday, March 17, the members of Enactus Saint Mary’s took first place in three of four categories at the Enactus Atlantic Regionals Exposition. They won for successful projects that addressed underemployment, poverty, food security and the special needs of autistic persons.
Saint Mary's placed first in the TD Entrepreneurship category with Autism Works. The team also came first in the Capital One Financial Literacy and Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenges, both with the OPtions Youth project, and placed second in the Scotiabank Eco-Living Challenge for Project 360 (Piece of the East). In addition, Best Before advanced to the final round of the McCain Foods Pitch Competition in Vancouver (an opportunity at a $20,000 prize).
The day after the competition, the team was back to work, delivering over 1000 lbs of food to Square Roots subscribers and hosting the World Downs Syndrome Day event at SMU.
What do these projects actually look like? OPtions offers at-risk youth classroom training, job placements and entrepreneurship guidance. Last year, youth who successfully completed the program founded the Square Roots social enterprise, delivering fresh, healthy food boxes to the Uniacke Square neighborhood, identified as a ‘food desert’. Piece of the East, a business created from Project 360, helped local immigrants find a source of affordable food (which would otherwise go to waste) to serve as source materials for a Syrian dessert business. Best Before is an online flyer that notifies consumers of which products in local grocery stores are approaching their best before date. These products are deeply discounted to save customers money and reduce food waste within the grocery store.
Enactus is an international movement that encourages university students to apply business and entrepreneurial skills to social challenges such as poverty, hunger, climate change and social integration. The Saint Mary’s team, with over 150 members each year, regularly wins national recognition for their social enterprise projects, which show measurable results in the local region and abroad.
The team envisions and drives the projects, often leveraging the capacity of the Sobey School Business Development Centre, working closely with staff coaches. The result is that Saint Mary’s students from Arts, Business and Science develop a deep commitment to creating social good, and exercise the leadership skills to follow through, and make an impact with purpose on the community.
The team travels to Vancouver to present their projects in the national finals in May.