Enactus is a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world.
The name is derived from three driving factors:
entrepreneurial— having the perspective to see an opportunity and the talent to create value from that opportunity;
action— the willingness to do something and the commitment to see it through even when the outcome is not guaranteed;
us— a group of people who see themselves connected in some important way; individuals that are part of a greater whole.
Enactus is a global organisation with teams in 36 countries, comprising 1,600 universities and over 66,000 members. It operates through university student teams, who employ and develop their business skills in social enterprise projects.
With the help of the Enactus support network of business advisors, university advisors, Enactus alumni and support staff – these students are equipped with the tools they will need to not only improve themselves but to empower people in need.
Throughout the academic year and the summer break, Enactus students identify the needs and wants of disadvantaged groups in society; create an innovative solution and work with those in need to create projects which will improve their lives.
Each year, in April, Enactus UK holds the National Competition. Here, each university team showcases their projects to be assessed by a panel of judges, consisting of representatives from Enactus UK’s world renowned sponsor companies and Enactus Alumni.
It is a fantastic opportunity for all teams to get together; learn from each other; discover what other teams have been up to and to practice executing a professional presentation to a large audience.
The teams must present for 17 minutes and produce accompanying Annual Reports and Team Action data sheets.
Of the 54 universities with Enactus teams in the UK, UEA is one of the newcomers.
Enactus UEA started in January of 2014, with three founding members: then President Diana Matei; current President and VP respectively: NBS students, Chris Derrick and Chris Aniskowicz.
From January, they worked to create a structured 30 student strong team: researching and carrying out needs assessments, to begin to work towards social change. So whilst only still in the planning stage of their first project, the UEA team had to prepare for the Regional Competition in April in order to qualify and progress to the national stage.
They passed with flying colours and were entered into the Rookie league of the National Competition – a separate contest for the most recent additions to the Enactus UK teams.
Despite being the newest team, at just 3 months old, Enactus UEA came runner-up – beating universities that had been operating for over a year.
The positive feedback from judges flooded in. Some of whom sought out team members after the presentation to congratulate the team for their hard work.
Enactus UEA had shown great understanding of the Enactus criteria; carried out accurate needs assessments with their beneficiaries; and used their business skills and entrepreneurial instincts to create a tailored solution.
The team had also applied professional, technical and interpersonal skills from their studies to create a sustainable team of students, with identified roles and practices.
All of which, achieved entirely from scratch. From three students handing out leaflets at Refresher’s fair to a 30 student team of social entrepreneurs, in three months.
Enactus UEA continues to work towards social change in the new academic year, having recruited new faces to replace last year’s final year students. They are recruiting the right students all the time, and currently working on three social action projects and one commercial enterprise.
In the 2015 Enactus UK National Competition UEA will compete with well-established teams such as Southampton and Sheffield with over 300 students and 10 years of experience between them. But with the same rate of progress and support from NBS and UEA, the Enactus UEA team could achieve big things this year.
To learn more about Enactus:
To get involved in the Enactus UEA team: