Have you ever heard of Enactus?
I’ll give you a minute.
I know I hadn’t. Enactus stands for: ENtrepreneurial ACTion for others creates a better world for US all.
It’s an international not-for-profit dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. The overall program aims to help tackle the United Nations 2017 Sustainable Development goals, which have been set for 2030.
The program is offered in 36 countries around the world with each country setting their goals for the regional competitions. In Canada, students can compete in four categories, one of which is the Capital One Financial Education Challenge. This challenge must demonstrate how students used their financial acumen and entrepreneurial approach to create lasting outcomes.
Every year, Enactus competitions around the world lead to one team from each country being crowned national champion and getting the opportunity to compete at the Enactus World Cup.
On September 29, Capital One Canada invited me to attended the Enactus World Cup, which was being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center Sept 28-30. Although there were a plethora of booths, Capital One’s focused on leadership. To be honest, I had no idea how many students were involved or how many people would be attending. Not to mention how amazing these ideas would be!
The Canadian team from Memorial University in St. John’s won the Canada-wide competition and were thus representing Canada. Their idea is incredible. They have developed a hydroponic system to allow local communities the ability to grow their own fruits and vegetables. The system can be sold to anyone for $350 but it’s actually changing the lives of those people in Labrador and Northern communities who don’t have access to fresh produce. Or only have limited access, such as purchasing a single, MOULDY bell pepper for $9!
The team from Memorial built this system and:
- Identified communities lacking access to fresh produce
- Taught these communities how to grow produce using the systems
- Educated these communities on how to share the produce or sell it to make a profit
- Developed a micro-loan program, with the help of Capital One Canada, to enable these communities to purchase the systems
- Used the money from the sales to provide at-risk youth with jobs and wages building the units
These students have already changed the lives of hundreds of people, are working on Canada-wide distribution, oh, and they got a personal letter from Justin Trudeau. No big deal.
In fact, these students’ ideas were so stellar, they went on the win the Enactus World Cup! You can check out their video here All I know is if these kids are going to be running Canada one day…sign me up!
This post was sponsored by Capital One Canada but all opinions are, my own.