On the 10th and 11th April, the top 42 Enactus teams from across the UK competed in the Enactus UK 2017 National Expo at the ExCeL, London.
The dynamic, energy-filled event brought together 750 university students, 60 academics, and over 350 senior UK business leaders across two days of celebration and collaboration of Youth Social Action and Social Enterprise. Key note speakers included Lord Victor Adebowale CBE.
The Enactus teams competed for the title of 2017 Enactus UK National Champion by showcasing their social and community projects to business executives serving as judges. The students were evaluated on how successfully they applied business concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to improve the quality of life of those in need. The final round judging panel comprised 100 senior business leaders including Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick, CBE, Global Head of Corporate Citizenship, KPMG International and Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK.
Enactus Southampton won the competition after showcasing two of their inspirational social enterprises. The first, Sole Support, trains vulnerable individuals within Kenyan communities to create shoes out of waste tyres and tackles three main issues: protection against infections and parasites, lack of affordable footwear and accumulating stock piles of waste tyres. The second, Juamaji, uses heat from the sun to purify dirty water whilst sustainably farming tilapia fish, providing both cleaner water and a staple food source to the communities they work in.
Enactus Southampton will now go on to represent Enactus UK in the Enactus World Cup 2017 which we are very proud to be hosting in London, at the same venue, ExCel from 26th -28th September, 2017. This is the first time since 2001 that Enactus UK has hosted the Enactus World Cup and preparations are well under way. Enactus UK is looking forward to welcoming the 35 other competing Enactus country Champions to our capital, London.
The two-day event consisted of more than just the competition and included an Enterprise and Employability Fair with over 35 corporate and social enterprise partners and a Project Exhibition in which the students showcased their flagship social and community projects to participants and judges.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Barclays hosted luncheons on 'Enterprising Women' and 'Trends in Entrepreneurship' which were each attended by over 140 student leaders. Ashley Hever, Talent Acquisition Director at Enterprise Rent-A-Car said:
"It was great to meet so many Enactus students at our Enterprising Women Networking Brunch 'What I know now... I wish I knew then'. We were able to make connections with some fantastic students and start conversations which will hopefully lead to many starting their careers with Enterprise."
Companies announcing major grant programmes to support projects to scale up included the Ford Fund. Debbie Chennells, Ford Fund Manager said:
"Congratulations on a wonderful final yesterday. Our team were so impressed by the calibre, professionalism and creativity of the students. There are some tremendous community projects underway."
Enterprise Educator UK (EEUK) hosted a lunch for all the Enactus University Advisers and Enactus UK and EEUK, announced its intention to work more closely together to drive forward their important work in enterprise education, social enterprise and youth social action within the HE sector.
Enactus UK released its thought leadership paper - Millennial Values, Future Leaders which celebrates the experiences of Enactus UK Alumni who have gone on to lead in society as future socially responsible leaders in enterprise.
Andrew Bacon OBE, CEO of Enactus UK was delighted with the success of the event. He said:
"Congratulations to the 2017 National Enactus Champion team from the University of Southampton and all of our 56 teams who delivered so much more social and community impact through their projects this year. Every stage of the competition was fiercely contested this year and that is down to the hard work of all involved in the programme be they the team members, the business advisers and volunteers or the support from the university and alumni mentors."
"We look forward to hosting and competing at the Enactus World Cup in London in September 2017 with 35 other countries and over 4,000 current and future responsible business leaders."