The week before Fall Break, students boarded a flight for San Jose, California to watch and support the competing Enactus teams at the Enactus World Cup.
Every year, the world cup hosts 3,500 student, business and academic leaders from 36 different countries to showcase projects that will improve communities across the world. This year, 10 John Brown University students watched presentations about a variety of projects.
Sophomore Scott Lightborn said they went to observe and learn from the “best of the best” Enactus teams. According to the Enactus World Cup website, “Each team has 17 minutes to showcase their projects of entrepreneurial action that … have the momentum to create new careers, spark business innovation and deliver fresh energy for social impact.”
Canada’s team from Lambton College won the world cup this year with their projects aiding farmers in Zambia, Africa and a financial literacy workshop for local women.
Libby Skaff, junior marketing major, said, “I felt like [the world cup] was more a celebration of what everyone had accomplished … When you get to international competition, it is just a great accomplishment in and of itself.”
Additionally, Enactus organized a culture fair for students to learn about the different countries represented by students. Lightborn said witnessing the 36 different countries’ experiences and projects showed him how big Enactus is and how much these students do as a whole.
“Enactus itself is important because of the great work it does around the world,” Lightborn said. “For starters we are about helping people and secondary it’s [about] the world cup and competition … If you don’t have the right mindset behind that then I don’t think you’re doing the real good you should be as a project.”
Another obstacle for non-English speakers is that the Enactus organization requires each team to present in English, even it is not a country’s first language.
“That was amazing to see how talented people were to be able to answer spontaneous questions by the judges in English, when it was not their first language,” Skaff said. “It was definitely inspiring and encouraging to me to see what other college students are doing and what we here at JBU are able to do as well.”
JBU students work with four projects over the year: the carpenter project, Guatemala water project, stratify and the jelly project. The carpenter project builds homes for refugees in Uganda using a 1 for 1 model. This means for every home in America that is built, one is built in Uganda. The Guatemala water project installs water filtration systems to areas with no access to clean water. Stratify provides jobs for adults with disabilities in the local community. Lastly, the jelly project gives business advice to women in Guatemala who own a jelly business.
These students work year round to accomplish their goals for each project, and after attending the world cup, Lightborn said he has some high hopes for their Enactus group.
“It really opened my eyes that we need to focus on a much bigger picture than we are now,” he said. “[We should] look at all the locations we can impact as a whole.”