Southampton Student Entrepreneurs in World Cup Final
Enactus Southampton has made history by finishing second at the Enactus World Cup in Cancun, Mexico.
The University’s leading team of student social entrepreneurs were beaten to the title by Germany with Nigeria and Puerto Rico also reaching the final four.
The landmark achievement by Enactus Southampton marked the first time that the UK team had made the final of the World Cup. Southampton has now made three successive trips to the World Cup as UK national champions.
“My congratulations to our students and staff who represented the University so fantastically at the Enactus World Cup,” said Vice-Chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam. “I would also like to extend my congratulations to all of our Enactus Southampton students who work so hard throughout the year proving that the entrepreneurial spirit is well and truly alive here in Southampton.”
Enactus is a global not-for-profit organisation that works to mobilise university students to make a difference within their communities while developing their skills to become socially responsible business leaders. Enactus Southampton won this year’s UK final after presenting three social enterprise projects to a panel of judges:
- SanEco - involving the invention and development of a new toilet to provide sanitation facilities as well as a way of turning human waste into natural fertiliser. The toilet was created by engineering students using recycled plastic and glass mixed with concrete and are now in place and used by local entrepreneurs in Kisii in southwest Kenya. The entrepreneurs are all farmers who are looking to reduce the amount of money they spend on expensive commercial fertilisers and generate income to support their families;
- Right Futures - started in Madagascar in 2010 to reduce the dependency of villagers on kerosene for light and cooking, not only because kerosene is expensive but also its fumes are potentially harmful. Enactus Southampton members sought to replace the villagers’ dependency on kerosene by providing solar lamps which local entrepreneurs could rent at a cheaper price per night than their neighbours would have to pay for kerosene. Right Futures has now expanded into Kenya, in partnership with a non-governmental organisation there, and encompasses mobile phone adapters for the solar lamps as well to give the entrepreneurs an additional stream of income.
- Find Your Path - follows the same model to those supported in Africa but in locally in Southampton with the Enactus team providing microfinance loans and on-going mentoring to help grow small business ideas.
All of these projects aim to create a positive impact on individuals and communities by supporting the creation and development of new businesses. In Southampton, nearly 150 students from a wide range of subjects – management and art to geography and engineering – actively take part in Enactus activities.
“What makes Enactus Southampton so successful is our focus on business together with the opportunity to improve our community and for us to better ourselves and learn from our experiences,” said Charlotte Pearce, outgoing President of Enactus Southampton and a member of the presentation team at the Enactus World Cup.
“I honestly believe that we are the most passionate team,” Charlotte continued. “The collaboration of all of these students coming together for a common cause creates a community I’ve never experienced anywhere else.”