Kelowna Capital News

New name, direction for OC student initiative

Okanagan business students are stepping up their efforts to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in the Okanagan.

As members of SIFE—Students In Free Enterprise—the participating students have voluntarily gotten involved with and launched new programs to help encourage interest in business as a potential career and bring about positive change in their community.

But SIFE has now taken on a new name—Enactus, which is an acronym for Entrepreneurs, Actions and Us.

The rebranding of SIFE, a non-profit organization that in 39 countries around the world with the involvement of 1,600 colleges and more than 57,000 students,, is intended to help raise the profile of the group’s commitment to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.

Adrienne Renaud, a third-year Okanagan College business degree student and vice-president of marketing for the local chapter, says the name change from SIFE to Enactus that can be translated in other languages and still carry the same intent and meaning.

Renaud, who transferred to OC from Prince George to get her business degree, says being involved in SIFE has been a life changing experience for her.

“It really hit home for me in September when I went to our SIFE World Cup event in Washington, D.C. in September and saw what we are doing in these 39 other countries. It was just incredible,” Renaud said.

“I was looking for like-minded people when I found SIFE…its whole mandate is about positive economic, environment and social change.”

Renaud said Enactus will continue to give students the opportunity to take what they learn in theory in the college classroom and put it to the reality test in the community.

“There is a lot of networking involved because it offers us the chance to get out in the community and meet people, and adapting the theory you learn in school to real-life situations is a great way to develop leadership skills,” Renaud said.

She said the Okanagan business community being small business oriented presents challenges for graduating students who want to stay here rather than moving elsewhere to start their business careers.

“Leaving for larger centres is a bit of a problem here in the Okanagan, but for myself my hope is that getting involved (with Enactus) will help get me involved in the community and make the connections that will ultimately help me to stay and find employment.”

She said one of the programs started under SIFE and will carry on with Enactus is to take the  message of entrepreneuriship  to students at the high school and middle school levels.

“It’s trying to get kids to focus on the idea of entrepreurship and what it can mean to them, to show them the viable options that can allow them to stay in the Okanagan and start their own businesses, that you don’t have to leave to earn a living,” she said.

Besides carrying out social and business advocacy projects in the Okanagan, Enactus participants are also involved in national and international business start-up idea competitions.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Virk shuffled to new job after Kwantlen flap
 
Iraqi leader asks US for more air power, weaponry
 
Christmas Bird Count Takes Place Saturday in Kelowna
Hunger pangs: food prices hamper Nunavut
 
Newfoundland reconsiders EU trade support
 
Harper ignores call to rescind torture policy
Prince Rupert School District concerned about appropriateness of work camp near middle school
 
Court challenge lawyer to appeal costs ruling
 
High court gives B.C. First Nation leverage

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.