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Mayor John Tory opened up the Enactus Canada final round of competition, congratulating all competitors and finalists.

“I think the model of what Enactus is, is really important to what this country is all about,” says Mayor John Tory. “The most important time I’ve spent in my life has been in the work I did in the community.”

Mayor Tory concluded his opening speech with a big announcement: “The 2016 Enactus World Cup will be hosted here in Toronto,” leading to cheers from the crowd of Enactus student leaders.

The competition

University of Windsor

Enactus Windsor has a team of 123 student leaders focused on community efforts in local Windsor. With 20 per cent unemployed among Windsor immigrants, this led to Enactus Windsor to start Cookstart Consulting, with the goal to reach out to immigrants looking to break through the food business.

Project: Cookstart Soup
A sister project, is focused on helping immigrant women. The project has generated over $10,000 in revenue, and all profits are put towards food security efforts in downtown Windsor.

Project Relief
Extending their efforts abroad, the team was led to Africa. The purpose of the project is to bring fresh drinking water through a biodegradable filter. They recruited University of Windsor engineering students to help create the filter, and received $30,000 in funding from RBC to launch the project.

Next, the team sent three of their student leaders to Africa, partnering with local leaders and educating the community on clean water practices, proper water usage, and disposal. Currently the team is working on finalizing the last steps for the filter. Through this project, it has the potential to reach a number of communities in need. So far, Enactus Windsor has reached 800 villagers and continues to help them believe change is possible.

St. Lawrence College

Project: Manage your money
Student leaders at Enactus St. Lawrence College made it their responsibility to change the perspective youth have on money. The program is directed towards young people who lack direct guidance from elders when it came to discussions of financial literacy. It runs three times per year, six weeks in length, and is entirely led by the Enactus St. Lawrence student leaders, where young people are coached on finances, loans, and responsible banking. The end goal: for young people to take the knowledge they gain and apply it to their everyday lives.

Project: Food Cents
What started out as a 60-minute seminar on food, food prep, and nutrition, participants voiced the hour-long seminar just wasn’t enough. With that addressed, Enactus St. Lawrence created a cookbook “Recipes for an Empty Wallet,” which is free online and available in a number of languages. Their next project, Slow Cookers for Kids, is a three-day program for young students. They learn a number of recipes using a slow cooker.

Project: Young Women Innovators Conference
Young women in the community were invited to the St. Lawrence College campus, where they built business plans and pitched it to other female leaders, emulating the “Dragons’ Den” feel. As a result, the program builds the foundation for future female entrepreneurs in trades.

Saint Mary’s University

Project: The Startup 100
For Enactus Saint Mary’s University, the goal was to start 100 businesses in 50 communities in 100 days. Through their efforts, they easily surpassed that: 125 youth starting businesses, in 51 communities, with the end goal of being scalable and sustainable.

Project: OPtions International
The student leaders were approached by Chalice, an International Aid and Development organization, to empower people living in poverty through entrepreneurship. This project took the student leaders to Peru, where local artisan women make handbags and ornaments to sell to local markets. The problem was these women lacked business skills and resources. Enactus Saint Mary’s took the lead and delivered training in entrepreneurship and financial literacy. What started out as 15 women, the program quickly grew to 50 women in 5 communities in Peru.

Project: OPtions Nova
Student leaders are working to educate female inmates at a women’s penitentiary in Nova Scotia on entrepreneurship and financial literacy. To goal is to help women change their futures and eliminate the stigma of their pasts. Through their efforts, it’s projected that $2.7 million in taxpayer money will be saved with the implementation of this program.

University of Ottawa

At Enactus UOttawa, their goal is to build a better Canada. And their efforts started at home: Use knowledge of sustainable business and apply to communities across the country.

Project: Eco-Equitable Boutique
Eco-Equitable is a local charity teaching women how to sew. The student leaders at Enactus UOttawa saw the need to expand those charity efforts to, in addition to teaching women how to sew, also create jobs and educate on fabric waste and sustainability. Since then, they’ve developed a women’s fashion e-commerce website and introduced pop up shops.

To develop transferable skills in these women, they introduced a training program focusing on customer service, marketing, and selling. They’ve created jobs for 16 women, gained thousands of dollars in revenue, and vastly limited fabric waste. The Eco-Equitable women’s Boutique is now running independent of the Enactus UOttawa team.

Project: Teengage
There’s a 14.1 per cent youth unemployment rate, but Enactus UOttawa saw an even bigger need in Nunavut, the youngest territory in Canada. The team of student leaders travelled north to learn more about local social crisis. There, they learned that traditional business doesn’t align with local cultural beliefs. Enactus UOttawa then developed a training program for enterprise entrepreneurship. They have since developed a curriculum for entrepreneurial empowerment, and the program is now global.

Project: CigBins
Cigarettes account for 37 per cent of all visible waste. CigBins were introduced as a result. Enactus UOttawa teamed up with local industrial designers to create proper disposal bins for cigarettes, while also employing those with mental illnesses to handle distribution. The project has since seen much success: All Ottawa Morguard locations are equipped with CigBins, and the team has confirmed expansion to Montreal and Toronto, (some were even placed outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre—the site of the Enactus competition—collecting over 300 cigarettes in just three days).

Enactus National Winners

Champions: Enactus UOttawa
Runner up: Enactus Saint Mary's University