By Chelsea Weeks, News Editor (Courtesy Photo/PR Department)
Two advisors and 11 students left Bison Hill with determination and came back with a medal.
Last Monday, April 16, the Oklahoma Baptist University’s Enactus team won the Regional Championships in Dallas and will advance to the National Championship in Kansas City, MO, May 20 through 22.
For 15 minutes, five team members had to present the different projects that OBU’s Enactus team has been working on all year.
These presentations were then followed by a five-minute Q&A with over 20 judges.
At regionals, schools are placed in five different leagues. The top three winners of each league advance onto Nationals.
One of the projects that was presented was the Community Market project.
The Enactus team is mobilizing the market by partnering with Gordon Cooper to renovate a bus into a grocery store.
This will provide a convenient way for clients to have access to the market.
They also added a shopping feature to their website for working individuals and single mothers who may not be able to make it to the market during business hours.
“We’ve been the nexus that gets people together to make that occur,” Dean of Paul Dickinson College of Business, Dr. David Houghton said.
They also presented the Spero project; Enactus worked with Spero to help expand their ministry and provide better care for refugees.
They created a business plan for the organization, helped with citizenship classes and organized a 5k fun run to help raise funds and public attention for the refugee
“We’re hoping they can do [the 5k and fun run] each year which can be a sustainable project which will help them with a specific need they have,” Houghton said.
One of their projects involved their work with small businesses and their social media.
For example, The Gathering Place, a local coffee shop downtown, was included in their presentation.
The Enactus team was able to increase their followers from 90 to 1,100.
Another small business they worked with was Spreading Hope, a pregnancy center.
They created a digital marketing strategy and help start their Instagram page.
“What we are doing is just expanding existing ministries,” a junior finance major and President of the OBU Enactus team, Libby Unruh said.
Scores are based off the measurable outcome results of a project and the continual improvement of those projects.
“Many of these projects are multiyear projects,” Houghton said.
“The judges don’t care that we’ve identified the need, they care that we’ve solved the need. Some of it is just building off of the work of prior Enactus generations here at OBU.”
Enactus first started as Students in Free Enterprise in 2003 but was rebranded to Enactus in 2013.
“Enactus is a global organization [with] competitive teams and universities around the world,” Houghton said.
“Their goal is to do social entrepreneurship types of projects within the community. The goal is to improve the quality of life, often in a business context an economic quality of life, but broadly speaking, the quality of life for the target audience that the team is choosing to serve.”
Although the Enactus team usually focuses on external projects, they do host several events on campus to help the OBU community.
These events include the annual etiquette dinner in the fall and the career fair in the spring.
The Enactus team provides a variety of benefits including resume building, creation of business plans and budgets, partnering with local businesses, working and communication with others.
“Enactus is not a Christian organization, but I think it works great at Christian universities,” Houghton said.
“From a professor’s perspective, the greatest benefit is the chance for us to apply our discipline and our faith in a practical way in the community.”
Any student, regardless of major, can get involved with the Enactus team. Students only need to show up to the meetings on Monday at 10 a.m. in Baily Business Center, room 210.
“I just like that I can use what I am learning in the classroom right now,” Unruh said. “I don’t have to say, ‘one day I can help people through business,’ I can be doing that now. I like how it gives me the opportunity to pour back into the community and not waste my time here in Shawnee. I am here for four years, and it’s easy to say it’s only four years, but that’s a long time to make a difference.”