In 2006, Syracuse University joined a global network of colleges and universities in a bid to train interested students to become intelligent entrepreneurs while engaging themselves in building a better community. Enactus (previously known as Students in Free Enterprise) is a global non-profit organization that works through student organizations based out of 1,600 campuses across 40 countries. Housed at Martin J. Whitman School of Management, SU Enactus is an important cog of that relentless global machine.
Just a little over a year ago, a group of the organization’s members initiated a project with a Syracuse-based non-profit organization called Rescue Mission. The project, known as Mission Returns, is based in a simple yet innovative idea. Rescue Mission redeems all of Syracuse University’s recyclable waste twice every week. For every 65 bottles and cans that they recycle, enough revenue is generated to provide one meal for a homeless person, accounting for about 4,000 meals a year. As part of the project’s next step, SU Enactus is working with fraternities and apartment complexes on campus to redeem the recyclable waste they generate.
Enactus members also currently handle a number of other projects:
– The Chadwick Residence provides transitional housing to women and children. Enactus students help residents study for their GED, build their resumes, learn basic Microsoft Office skills and more to create better opportunities for their futures.
– Through the EBV Web project, students build websites to help participating veterans of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) gain better market reach for their entrepreneurial ventures. Since 2011, the team has created websites for over 35 veteran entrepreneurs.
– The 3fifteen project saw the light of day during the summer of 2012. The unique shopping experience provided by this thrift store, housed within the Marshall Square Mall, is geared towards college students. Sales from the store benefit the Rescue Mission’s efforts to end hunger and homelessness and help change lives in the communities where it provides its services.
– Team Guatemala works to bring handmade products created by Mayan weavers of several Guatemalan villages back to Syracuse, for sale. Ninety percent of the proceeds go towards providing scholarships for many women and girls to finish school. Since 2007, Team Guatemala has generated over $155,000 in revenue resulting in over 240 scholarships.
These are only a few of the many ventures that members of SU Enactus are involved in. Every year, the leaders of this student organization strive to engage in meaningful conversations with community members and firms to create a definitive and positive change. Even when the leaders and members of SU Enactus graduate each year and move on, they make sure that their legacy lives on in the projects they initiated or managed by preparing the next generation to take over and carry the initiatives forward. To learn more about the organization and their efforts, visit: http://syracuseenactus.com/.