Enactus SFU students win big at National Exposition
May 12, 2016
Beedie School of Business students’ dedication to social innovation paid off at the Enactus National Exposition, as Enactus SFU took home the Capital One Financial Education Challenge award and reached the semi finals of the overall competition.
In addition, Beedie student and president of Enactus SFU, Winona Bhatti, was named Student Leader of the Year at the competition, held in Toronto from May 2 – 4.
Enactus is a global student-led organization that focuses on social entrepreneurship to transform lives in their community. Through Enactus SFU, students at Simon Fraser University develop new skills, and are empowered to become future leaders while making a positive impact in the community.
The Enactus SFU team earned the Capital One Financial Education Challenge National award for its Count On Me program, which teaches at-risk youth financial literacy. In the last year, the program has worked with 41 at-risk youths, such as teenage mothers, teaching them life skills such as budgeting, goal setting, and employability skills, healthy eating, and assisting them with applications for post-secondary school.
The Capital One Financial Education Challenge award empowers post-secondary students to develop and deliver projects that address the specific and unique financial education or financial inclusion needs and opportunities in their communities with the aim of improving livelihoods
“This year has been one of the biggest leaps we’ve ever taken at Enactus SFU and one of the main reasons for that is just how inspired the team was,” said Bhatti.
Enactus SFU presented three of their ten programs in total at the competition, including Soap for Hope, an initiative that takes gently-used soap from Vancouver hotels and hires locals with barriers to employment to upcycle the soap into liquid or bar soap.
The team also presented Banner Bags, an educational program that teaches textile students at secondary schools the importance of being environmentally conscious, teaching them to turn something as simple as a banner into a bag.
“Enactus SFU is an amazing opportunity for Beedie students to do important and meaningful work in the community, and it was great they were recognized on the national stage for their efforts,” said Casey Dorin, executive director of undergraduate programs at the Beedie School of Business.
Bhatti credits her Student Leader of the Year award, which is presented to the Enactus president that made the most outstanding contributions to their team, to her people based leadership approach.
“I had a personal relationship with everyone at Enactus SFU and I think that helped to motivate them,” said Bhatti. “Working alongside these really great people that want to make a difference is inspiring, and to see them make a real impact is truly great.”
Under Bhatti‘s guidance the Soap for Hope initiative succeeded in increasing its turnover from $50 to $17,000 during her tenure.
“I think the team this year went above and beyond,” said Dorin. “They focused in on developing quality programs and experiences for people in our community. The amount of good work that happened this year was really inspiring.”
For more information on Enactus SFU, visit enactussfu.com/