When Enactus Windsor competes in the regional exhibition which runs today and tomorrow in Toronto, Kristy McLean is confident it will do well.
“It doesn’t matter where we place,” says McLean, president of the chapter and a fourth-year student at the Odette School of Business. “The fact that we’re doing so many things for our community is worth it.”
She will head up a delegation of more than 30 UWindsor students who will attend the conference and support teams presenting chapter projects in three categories: entrepreneurship, eco-living, and financial education.
“We are running projects that will have an impact on our community,” says McLean. “I am looking forward to sharing our stories.”
Among the group’s efforts are:
- Citythrive, which helps people on social assistance start their own businesses;
- Youthrive, which walks high school students through a business start-up;
- work supporting Computers for Kids, which refurbishes and recycles electronics; and
- new this year, the Young Mothers Coalition, which helps participants attain financial stability.
McLean says the programs develop networks of support, pointing to the fact that two members in the pilot of the Young Mothers Coalition received computers through Computers for Kids.
“It’s a team effort,” she says. “We have received a lot of support from our faculty that has been critical to our success.”
In Citythrive, mentors work one-on-one with clients to develop business and marketing plans, and meet weekly to measure progress. Of 22 partners who completed the program, 14 are still in business.
“This individual attention is the key to the program,” says McLean. “It’s what makes the experience unique.”
And it’s not just the business owners who benefit. The students appreciate the chance to apply their skills to practical experience.
“Through Enactus, all of us have the opportunity to learn as leaders,” McLean says.