April 22, 2014
Members of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University Enactus team placed first runner-up in its league at the Enactus United States National Exposition April 1-3 in Cincinnati.
The team, which matched its best performance at the national competition, received $1,000 for its finish. There are over 500 Enactus teams active in the United States, and 175 teams competed in Cincinnati.
The CSB and SJU team first competed on April 1 in its league of nine teams, and earned a top-six finish to advance to the quarterfinals.
On April 2, CSB/SJU students competed with the hopes of advancing to the semifinal round. To advance, teams needed to place first in its league, but CSB and SJU was first runner-up to Belmont University of Tennessee for a second consecutive year.
"Our team losing to Belmont is anything but a loss," said Gretchen Hughes, CSB senior and Enactus competition coordinator. "Belmont University won the Enactus World Cup in 2012, beating out 1,600 other universities in 36 other countries. Our position puts our team in the top 10 percent of Enactus teams in the United States."
The Enactus team from Texas State University-San Marcos won the 2014 competition, its second national title since 2011. Belmont wound up finishing fourth.
The CSB and SJU Enactus club is an organization that encourages students to develop ideas that could change the world.
The team sent several project leaders, coordinators, executive board members, a faculty adviser and its presentation team to Cincinnati.
"Giving students an opportunity to showcase their hard work on a national stage is an amazing experience. It also gives our team motivation to impact as many people as possible through our projects," said Andrew Mueller, SJU senior and Enactus president.
The CSB and SJU team presented on the work it has completed over the course of the year, from student ventures to work with the local community. One of its projects, Square One, introduced the use of biomass presses to replace harmful coal emissions as well as checking in on past chicken coop and piggery endeavors in Uganda and Kenya.
Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.
Guided by academic advisers and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership.
The Enactus National Exposition drew sponsors like Hershey's, Ferrero, Walmart and Unilever. The Expo also offers a career fair for student networking with major corporations in attendance including BIC, Microsoft, Coca-Cola and The Home Depot.