Heading up a team that worked with entrepreneurs launching food-related businesses made for an amazing year, says Srushti Thaker.
“It was one of the best experiences I have had with the team, while learning a lot along the way,” Thaker said. “I only wish I could do it all over again.”
The third-year business major was recognized as best project leader by Enactus Canada at the student leadership development organization’s national exposition last week in Toronto. Her project, CookStart, provides one-on-one mentorship to entrepreneurs seeking to start new enterprises in the food industry.
“It has to be individualized because every start-up is different,” said Thaker. “One-on-one mentorship provides clients with business knowledge as well as emotional support throughout the program.”
The project won two additional awards for Enactus Windsor:
- the Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Partnership for educating and empowering female entrepreneurs; and
- the Tim Hortons Making a True Difference Project Partnership for addressing specific and unique needs and opportunities in communities.
CookStart helped 37 participants—31 of them women—launch 16 new food businesses.
“Empowering a woman empowers her entire family as well as her community,” said Nicole Almond, Enactus Canada president. “We are proud to recognize the Enactus Windsor team who dramatically changed the lives of 31 women and their families.”
Thaker praised the 17 students who worked on the project, saying the experience deepened their appreciation of their business education.
“You’re helping real people get their businesses off the ground,” she said. “It makes an actual impact.”