CSB/SJU Enactus team advances to national competition

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April 24, 2017

Presentation Team

From Left: Gary Harala, Ramon Angeles, Claudia Schulte, James Joyce, Precious Drew, Benjamin McBeain, Ben Frederickson.

There’s an old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Members of the Enactus team representing the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University knew that feeling. After a one-year absence, the team qualified for the national competition at the Enactus United States National Exposition May 21-23 in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 2015, the CSB/SJU Enactus team enjoyed a top-16 finish among 300 teams competing in the national Enactus competition. But the CSB/SJU team did not earn a return trip to nationals in 2016.

Getting back to the national stage energized the team at the regional competition March 27 in Chicago, according to Enactus President Maeve Adam, a senior global business leadership major from St. Paul, Minnesota,

“We were definitely the most excited team (in Chicago), not because we weren’t confident in our presentation, but because our finish last year reminded us not to take nationals for granted,” Adam said. “Last year’s performance added a motivation and enthusiasm that was apparent throughout the year.”

CSB/SJU completed in a six-team pool at the regional competition. The CSB/SJU team presented on three of its six ventures that most closely align with the Enactus criteria of entrepreneurial action, empowerment and social impact. Those local ventures included Square One, which seeks to create lasting micro-business ventures in developing countries, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which helps raise money to fight childhood cancer ($5,825 has been raised locally so far).

Led by competition coordinator Precious Drew (junior, Minneapolis), the CSB/SJU presentation team consisted of Claudia Schulte (junior, Stillwater, Minnesota), Gary Harala (sophomore, International Falls, Minnesota), Ramon Angeles (junior, Minneapolis), James Joyce (junior, Shakopee, Minnesota), Ben Frederickson (sophomore, Plymouth, Minnesota), and Benjamin McBeain (junior Shakopee, Minnesota).

The team consisted of six global business leadership majors and an economics major (Harala). They prepared, memorized and gave a 17-minute presentation to a panel of executive judges, followed by a five-minute question and answer session.

The presentation highlighted the impacts of the team’s ventures and secured the team’s spot at nationals. There were seven pools in the competition; each pool advanced four teams.

“I could not be more proud of our team and all we have accomplished,” Adam said. ”Our team has spent countless hours throughout the year working on our ventures and preparing all elements of our presentation for competition.”

Enactus, the largest business club at CSB/SJU, is an international organization that promotes the improvement of livelihoods through social entrepreneurship. Teams from 457 colleges and universities around the U.S. showcase their student-run entrepreneurial ventures at competition in an effort to inspire, collaborate and be recognized for the impact they are making.

Paul Marsnik, professor of global business leadership, and Steve Schwarz, visiting assistant professor of global business leadership, serve as advisers to the group.

Learn More about Business Majors at CSB/SJU