Enactus Exeter, a University of Exeter society aimed at developing entrepreneurial and employability skills, has secured a place in the grand final of a prestigious national event, the Enactus UK National Expo.
On 8th-9th April 2019, 61 Enactus teams from across the UK competed in the Enactus UK 2019 National Expo at the ExCeL, London. This dynamic, energy-filled event brought together over 750 university students and 300 academics and senior UK business leaders for two days of celebration and collaboration of Youth Social Action and Social Enterprise.
The achievement secures the society’s place as one of the top 4 Enactus Teams in the UK. Though they were pipped to post for the UK crown, this is a remarkable achievement for the team and the furthest they have ever progressed in the National competition. In addition, they picked up multiple awards for their individual projects, securing Grant Award funding of over £6000.
At the UK Expo, Enactus Exeter presented 3 of their most established projects – Lighthouse, The Gourmet Mushroom Company and BioSmart. Lighthouse is tackling employment insecurity; working with young people at Exeter’s YMCA to develop their workplace skills through mentoring, volunteering and skills coaching to build their confidence and secure paid work. The Gourmet Mushroom Company collects waste coffee grounds from local cafes (preventing it from going to landfill and producing dangerous methane gas) and uses them to grow gourmet oyster mushrooms to sell to local businesses. At full capacity, the urban farm will be able to produce 50 kg of mushrooms a week, upcycling 7830 kg of coffee waste over the year. Biosmart is tackling fuel poverty in Kadzinuni, Kenya. The team have designed, built and tested furnaces that burn agricultural waste and create a sustainable charcoal which can be used to power cookstoves in households.
Enactus Exeter also had great success in the Individual Topic competition. Lighthouse Project came Runners-up in the EY-sponsored Empowering Youth category. The Gourmet Mushroom Company won two awards + £6k in rant funding; £1k in the Green King-sponsored Upcycling category and £5k in For-sponsored Building Sustainable Communities category.
Enactus is a global non-profit and community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives. Enactus have over 72,000 active student members across 1,730 campuses in 36 countries, positively impacting the lives of 1.3 million people each year.
Enactus Exeter have continued to go from strength to strength this year and have demonstrated remarkable ambition, talent and social conscience; building sustainable new enterprises and impacting the lives of others, both in the local community in Exeter and in Kadzinuni, Kenya. Since last Summer, Enactus Exeter have tripled their active membership, launched an entrepreneurial training program to develop new projects and increased their income with new commercial projects.
To find out more or get involved, either as a member or to offer advice or support, visit the Facebook page.