For Enactus University of Saskatchewan, 2016 is the year for continuing a legacy of social, economic and environmental changes that Enactus students agree are key components when creating a strong and successful community.
On Sept. 28, Enactus U of S travelled to Toronto to learn about the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the Enactus World Cup, which brought together an international network of students, business leaders and faculty from 36 different countries to collaborate and showcase their ideas. These development goals provide a framework for the sustainable changes strived for by Enactus.
During this event, U of S students were observers, but they hope to bring back a better understanding of Enactus, what the group is on a global scale and how they can implement their new knowledge as they work to improve the Saskatchewan community.
As a global student-run non-profit organization with over 1,710 university programs around the world, Enactus partners with business, academic and community leaders and creates programs that focus on how social entrepreneurial action can identify and solve economic, social and environmental issues.
Keenan Davreux, president of Enactus U of S and a senior commerce and management student, explains how the organization determines what problems are most affecting communities in Saskatchewan.
“Through our extensive research into local communities and the global Enactus organization, we conduct a thorough needs assessment. Most recently, a small community called Pelican Narrows in northern Saskatchewan had its grocery store burn down, leaving them without access to fresh food within a 400-kilometre radius,” Davreux said, in an email to the Sheaf.
The involvement of Enactus within the socio-economic area of Saskatchewan is vast. Food for the Future, one of many projects established by Enactus, provides food education and support to communities in northern Saskatchewan like Pelican Narrows. In turn, CentsABLE, another Enactus program, aims to teach financial literacy to U of S students, so that they can budget and learn proper saving methods.
Another project run by Enactus is the Stock Market Challenge, which gives students the opportunity to invest fake money into real life securities. In this way, Enactus can educate students on long term investing and foster an entrepreneurial mindset. Two other projects that Enactus manages are the Aboriginal Youth Idea Challenge and Lessons from Legacy.
Enactus’s far-reaching work would not be possible without the participation of students, faculty and business professionals, who all play an essential role in the making and in the materialization of these projects and challenges.
Davreux points out that Enactus is open to all colleges across campus and to all students wishing to make a positive impact in Saskatchewan communities, regardless of their level of education, as Enactus is always looking to grow and create new projects.
“If anyone wishes to learn more about our projects they can reach out to us through our email or check us out on our social media, @EnactusSask,” Davreux said.
According to the Enactus U of S students, it is important that Enactus creates partnerships with other organizations across Saskatchewan in order to attain the desired outcomes.
“We identify organizations that align with our program goals and Enactus’s vision to create a better world through social entrepreneurship,” Davreux said.
He explains that after this step is completed, Enactus reaches out to students to put the new project into action.
“Enactus does everything from ideation to implementation. By utilizing our team members, business partnerships and faculty advisors, we create sustainable programs,” Davreux said.
Enactus brings together individuals with a similar mindset and allows them to concentrate their enthusiasm and energy into improving Saskatoon and the rest of Saskatchewan. According to the Enactus team, they are greatly motivated by the knowledge that a person’s involvement and contribution to the larger community can be a game-changer in the lives of many.
“The most rewarding experience about being a part of the Enactus organization is creating change within our local communities and connecting with like-minded individuals,” Davreux said. “What drives us as a team to get more involved in the student community, is seeing the impact a single action can have.”
Gabriel Siriany Linares
Photos: Tanner Braaten / Supplied