Students Improve Lives through Entrepreneurial Action

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UMKC Enactus Celebrates National Accomplishments

Each year, Enactus teams across 36 countries compete to improve lives through entrepreneurial action. Enactus, the world’s largest experiential learning platform, has been dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. A handful of those leaders hail from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

During the United States’ national competition in late May, the UMKC Enactus team, made up of first-time competitors, garnered plenty of attention after landing second place in the opening round. More than 1,000 college and university students from crisscross the country traveled to Kansas City to present their best, most innovative entrepreneurial ideas for solving world issues like hunger and poverty.

“Second place in our league is something we’re extremely proud of,” said UMKC Enactus president Megan Darnell. “We are ranked in the top 32 of the 444 Enactus teams nationwide. It’s an incredible accomplishment and goes to show how great our UMKC Enactus team is.”

The national competition was judged by hundreds of senior executives from the country’s most well-known companies, including Hallmark Cards, Inc., BIC Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, Schwan’s Food Company, Unilever, Walmart Inc. and KPMG LLP.

“I have to say that this was one of the most inspiring Expos that I’ve attended, and the team had an incredible amount of success in many ways,” said Regnier Institute Managing Director and Enactus faculty advisor Ben Williams. Keeping in line with the theme of this year’s Enactus competition season—when we compete to improve lives, we all win—the team had several group and individual accomplishments during the competition.

Team Accomplishments:

First place – Unilever Bright Futures Accelerator Challenge: Teams across the country were asked to develop their best project to tackle food waste. FeedKC seeks to eliminate food waste across the KC Metro by diverting perfectly edible food from landfills to soup kitchens in the area. Through this project, we are projected to rescue 1 ton of food by August 2018 and feed over 2,000 people.

Bloch School senior Andrea Savage led the project team that transported leftover meals from the UMKC cafeteria to food banks in the area in Phase I. In Phase II of the project, the team developed an app that allows similar cafeterias to post leftover meals to a map that food banks and shelters can then use to go retrieve meals.

The FeedKC team was selected as the best overall project to tackle food waste and received $7,500 in award money, on top of a previously awarded $1500 grant, to help complete the project.

Individual wins:

Darnell, a Bloch School MBA student, was recognized as one of three national finalists for the Enactus USA Executive Leader of the Year award. Finalists for the Executive Leader award are recognized for their significant impact on the overall sustainability, strategy, culture, and development of members and projects.

2018-19 President-elect and Bloch School junior Salem Habte was selected as a finalist for the Human Resources Leader of the Year award. Human Resources Leaders significantly impact one or more of the areas of recruitment, engagement, leadership development, team succession and culture building. Habte was also inducted as a BNY Mellon Enactus Student Fellow, which is a program designed to help top Enactus students strengthen their capacity to create and deploy higher quality projects that have sustainable impact and to better prepare the students for successful careers.

Emily Testerman, was selected to be a Hallmark Ambassador – a new program created for the top 30 sophomore Enactus students.

“The team has always focused on student development and I know that the experiential opportunities these students have been able to participate in have directly influenced their development,” said Williams, adding that the team continues to impress with their projects, but “I am lucky enough to get to see the behind-the-scenes work which is even more impressive!”

A summary of accomplishments this year:

  • 1st place in the Unilever Bright Futures Project Accelerator Challenge
  • 1 Hallmark Ambassador
  • 1 new BNY/Enactus Fellowship
  • 2 Enactus USA Leader of the Year finalists
  • 1 Regional Champion Trophy
  • 17 Enactus USA Student Leadership Awards
  • 1700 pounds of food diverted from waste to the tables of those in need
  • 11 projects impacting almost 6000 people (5972)
  • 32 artists better prepared to turn their passion into a career
  • 100 students and startups connected to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in KC
  • 360 High school students better prepared for life after graduation
  • Provided 400 students in Ogwuokwu, Nigeria with access to clean water and, soon, access to sanitary facilities

Visit the Enactus Google Drive to check out pictures from the 2018 Expo.

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