Okanagan College’s business administration students took podium finishes for three teams at the Enactus Western Canadian regional championships held in Calgary recently.
A team comprised of five OC students won first place at the competition in the entrepreneurship category. Kelowna’s Darren Gillespie, Cooper Simson, Brent Basil and Emilia Muscardin, joined by Pentictonite Suzanne Newton showcased the work they did in a project called Innspire, which benefited Inn from the Cold, a Kelowna homeless shelter. The students developed a social enterprise that focused on sales of repurposed soap to benefit and profile the Chandler House and the issue of homelessness.
The regional competition win means the Entrepreneurship team advances to the national competition in Toronto in May.
Capturing second place at the competition in the Eco-Living green category were students Abbey Jones, Sakura Hirata, Aaron Gregory, Rob Larkin and Carly Suddard.
Instill Life is a project that puts Enactus Okanagan College students into classrooms to educate Grade 5 and 6 students with interactive workshops on a variety of topics such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship and sustainability. The children learn about local foods and agriculture as well as about agricultural entrepreneurs from around the world. They then create greeting cards out of their own personal artwork and are taught how to become entrepreneurs themselves by selling the cards for a profit. This profit is then micro-lent to an entrepreneur of the students’ choice in a developing country.
Another team from OC placed third in the financial literacy category, comprised of Vernon student Christianne Edbald and Kelowna students Daniel Alfred, Minami Endo, Talasa Larder and Rebecca Alfred. Their projects included two financial literacy programs run for low-income earners called Dollars and Sense and MAPS (Mentorship for All Parents).
“It’s amazing to see the passion and determination that our Enactus teams, and the other teams across Canada have for helping those in our communities,” noted Tom Arrowsmith, the president of Enactus Okanagan College. “I couldn’t be more proud of the success we have had this year at the regional exhibition, and I look forward to what lies ahead for the Enactus Okanagan College team.”
“This year we brought a very new team to the Enactus regional event and I am very excited that the team once again excelled,” said Dr. Sheilagh Seaton, faculty advisor with the first-place entrepreneurial team. “It confirms the passion and ability of our students to implement entrepreneurial projects that address the social, economic and environmental needs of our region.”
“The outcomes at regional competition are a testament to the quality of the projects we run across the region and the incredible support we have from our students, institution and the communities we serve,” said Dr. Kyleen Myrah, faculty advisor for Enactus Okanagan College.”
“The competition results speak to the quality of the effort the students expend on these projects, but the real payback is for our community,” said Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton. “The projects benefit organizations and move forward the agenda on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and sustainability, and they also provide hands-on learning for students who carry their skills and commitment to these causes into their careers.”
Enactus Okanagan College involves students from each of Okanagan College’s four major campuses. To learn more visit www.enactusoc.ca.