During the pandemic, Enactus Windsor teams have pivoted to continue their projects virtually, winning notice at the organization’s regional exposition.
The club, supported by the Odette School of Business, provides opportunities for students from across campus to create social enterprises addressing some of the toughest challenges in Windsor-Essex: poverty; lack of financial literacy; scarcity of entrepreneurial support; unemployment; and helping survivors of addiction, abuse, and human trafficking re-integrate into the workforce.
Rather than letting COVID-19 reduce its efforts, the organization expanded, adding five projects to its roster to tackle issues like food insecurity, mental wellness, climate change, and finding alternatives to single-use plastics.
“Looking back, I’m very happy with our teams for pivoting on all the projects,” says faculty advisor Trevor McFadyen. “Our exciting new R&D developments will create new drive and opportunities for students to engage with our community and put their education to practical use, before they even graduate.”
The Enactus Canada Regional Exposition is a showcase for the country’s largest post-secondary experiential learning platform. Teams make presentations on how their community empowerment projects are shaping the economic, social, and environmental landscape. The competition is judged by business leaders, who determine a national champion to represent Canada at the Enactus World Cup.
Windsor earned notice in several categories:
The Liberty Project aims to provide opportunities for sustainable employment in Canada to victims of abuse, addictions, and trauma, and gives women around the world access to menstrual health products. It was named a regional runner-up in the financial education challenge.
Youthrive is a mentorship program that focuses on financial literacy, environmental sustainability, and entrepreneurship. The program teaches elementary, secondary, and vulnerable youth how to create their own micro-businesses, and this year entered a partnership with a software developer to create a platform that will reach schools across the province. It received second runner-up honours in the entrepreneurship challenge.
Named second runner-up as the entrepreneurship challenge new project pitch was InvestUs, a venture committed to fostering a community of support by connecting investors with local entrepreneurs.
Project manager Tapas Modi praised his student team.
“Pitching an idea to industry professionals is always nerve-racking, however, the sweetness of being selected in the top six pitches across Canada is incredible,” he said. “I am extremely lucky to have such an amazing group of young adults working with me on this project. The accomplishments and achievements of this year’s work would not have been possible without them.”