November 15, 2022, by aczjb1

Global Entrepreneurship Week: University of Nottingham students at the Enactus World Cup

From the 30 October to 2 November 2022, 1,500 students from across the world gathered in Puerto Rico for the 2022 Enactus World Cup. A team from Enactus Nottingham represented the United Kingdom – and made it into the top four. 

My name is Gabby Donno and I am a third year Natural Sciences student. For the past two years, alongside my studies, I have also been part of the committee of Enactus Nottingham, taking on the role of Marketing Director. In this blog I’d like to tell you more about Enactus, and share with you the team’s recent experience at the Enactus World Cup. 

So, what is Enactus? Enactus is a not-for-profit organisation that empowers students to use innovation and business principles to tackle social and environmental needs through entrepreneurial leadership and developing student-led enterprise businesses. The Enactus programme runs within thousands of universities across 33 countries. Enactus projects are underpinned by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – therefore, thousands of these projects are helping to make meaningful, positive impact for people, the planet and prosperity. 

Enactus Nottingham were crowned the UK’s National Champions in April, a credit to our projects’ significant positive impact within Nottingham. For example, between 2021 and 2022, our project Foodprint – Nottingham’s first social supermarket – saved 124 tonnes of food from landfill. Foodprint also helped feed 1,838 vulnerable people each week by selling surplus food at a 40% discounted price and through its local food redistribution programme. 

The national title meant we had the privilege of representing the UK at the 2022 Enactus World Cup in Puerto Rico. We learnt about their incredible culture – from their cuisine and language, to their music and dance. We have returned to the UK slightly better salsa dancers, and with a love for reggaeton! Not only did we have the honour of immersing ourselves in the Puerto Rican culture, but we also learnt about so many others thanks to the ‘Fiesta de las Calles’! On day two of the competition, each country showcased a one-minute performance that gave everyone a taste of their nation. Of course, as a country rich in culture, the UK did a tribute to the great Freddie Mercury by conducting an impressive rendition of ‘We Will Rock You’! 

In each round of the competition, our presenters gave a brilliant presentation, giving the audience an overview of our current most impactful social enterprises: Foodprint, Razoration, and Ecologeco. The presenters then underwent a Q&A session, allowing the judges to delve deeper into our enterprises. Our opening round performance flew us into the top sixteen, and despite the tough competition, the UK finished top of the league. It was an indescribable feeling hearing the UK had made it to the final four of the competition, along with Egypt, Canada, and Tunisia – making us one of the top four teams out of more than 2,500 worldwide.  

We were so proud to have made it to the finals, given how high the standard of competition was. Moreover, listening to the other countries’ presentations highlighted how we are part of something much bigger than a student society – our projects are helping people all over the globe, and genuinely making this planet a better place. 

Our team gave their final performance on the big stage in the extravagant Coca-Cola Music Hall, and ultimately, first place was deservedly given to Egypt and second to Tunisia. Their creative projects exemplified how students can use innovation and business principles to benefit millions. For example, Egypt developed a way to use chitosan, a sugar found in the exoskeleton of crayfish, to filter water, act as a bio-pesticide, and a poultry food enhancer.

Preparation for the World Cup honed our ability to work under pressure and pushed every single team member to become more resilient. We have learnt so much from this experience, and with Enactus UK’s and the University of Nottingham’s support, we have accelerated the impact of our social enterprises. This experience taught us how essential teamwork is to driving social change. Furthermore, hearing other countries’ presentations revealed the severity of social inequality worldwide and how lucky we are in the UK to have basic infrastructures such as public toilets and filtered water running from our taps at the push of a button.  

I leave you with one final message: when we work together to change lives, in the words of Enactus, #WeAllWin. 

Claire Mulholland, Ingenuity Learning Support Development Officer and University Advisor to the Enactus Nottingham team added: “I am delighted by the achievements of the university’s Enactus team. This is the first time that a team from the University of Nottingham has made it to the final round – an amazing achievement. The student leaders worked incredibly hard to deliver a professional, impactful presentation about their social enterprise businesses. This was recognised by the panel of international judges and I could not be prouder of the students and their performance.”

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