Our students on the world stage

team at semi-final

In China this week, a team of enterprising students are sharing their life-changing projects with a world audience.

The team of entrepreneurs are dedicated to making the world a better place and are in Beijing this week to represent the UK at the Enactus World Cup 2014.

Enactus Sheffield, which was crowned Enactus UK Champion for its work helping 150 disadvantaged people to transform their lives, will compete against 35 countries across the world in the annual competition’s final in Beijing.

The team of inspiring young entrepreneurs will compete in the prestigious global championships, where their visit coincides with a visit by a delegation led by our Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett focused on graduations, educational partnerships and research on innovation in energy.

Our Vice-Chancellor said: “Our Sheffield Enactus students are bringing with them here to China a very different model of what business is and can be than the one usually associated with the West.

“In a society where trade is growing dramatically and commercial values are transforming the economy, our students are showing that business heads can be welded to powerful empathy, a deep understanding of the needs of vulnerable people and a determination that enterprise can make a difference.”

He added: “Their energy and commitment to using wealth creation as a tool of social good is a message which is truly international, and we are deeply proud that our Sheffield students are taking this with them to a global audience here in China.

“It is a vision which they have put into practice with the most wonderful results both on their own doorsteps and internationally – they have accepted no borders in their determination to help people through social enterprise."

Gift from Tapping Potential project

The team will pitch to the judges the details of its international Tapping Potential project – a scheme to provide clean water and soap to rural villages in Zambia through two businesses, which give a percentage of their profits to help clinics offer lifesaving medicine.

They will also describe the pioneering Homemade venture in which students working with homeless people to create a jam-making business, enabling people living on the streets to harness the skills necessary to gain a track record of work experience, and so break the cycle of exclusion to move to full-time employment and a stable home.

The social enterprise company has also worked with trafficked women, helping them gain crucial employment and economic independence as well as confidence.

Accounting and Finance Management student Caroline Turner, Managing Director of Enactus Sheffield, said: “This is the first World Cup any of us have attended, so we’re excited to see the best projects from around the rest of the world.

“Being reminded of how large the Enactus network is, and how many people it manages to empower globally each year, is both humbling and inspiring.”

Global business leaders awarded Enactus Sheffield with the prestigious UK Enactus Champion title for its remarkable projects which have touched the lives of people not only in South Yorkshire but across the world.

The dedicated team, which is made up of 150 talented students, triumphed over 35 university teams from across the UK at the 2014 Enactus UK National competition which took place in London earlier this year.

Caroline said the team had been busy preparing for the World Cup, which runs until Friday 24 October 2014, and hope to bring the title home.

She added: “It’s such an honour to present on behalf of the UK, so we’ve been hard at work over the summer to ensure we faithfully represent our projects on the world stage.

“The presentation team has been in our offices every day and we’ve been showcasing the presentation to Enactus UK, sponsor companies, and anyone who’ll listen.”