Enactus gives students local and international community experience

Clay Milford, Staff Writer

   Every year, Enactus, an international non-profit organization, helps to do what is written on the walls of the SNU business department in Royce Brown: Bring the mind of Christ to the world of business. Through Enactus, students learn what it means to be “socially responsible business leaders” and make a difference in their community.

   Patrick Bonham, Chief Executive Officer for the SNU Enactus Team, shows that Enactus is more than simply a business club. “Enactus students form teams on their university campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. We are a community of people who understand the transformative power of entrepreneurship in spirit and practice. We believe that the creativity, rigor and accountability that ensure businesses will flourish are just as essential to creating the circumstance for humankind to thrive.”

   Bonham says that the word Enactus comes from three main ideas.  “En comes from Entrepreneurial–having the perspective to see an opportunity and the talent to create value from that opportunity. Act comes from Action–the willingness to do something and the commitment to see it through even when the outcome is not guaranteed. Finally, -us comes from us–a group of people who see themselves connected in some important way; individuals that are part of a greater whole.”

   SNU Enactus, which was started in order to give students a way to apply business principles outside of the classroom, is doing just that through several short-term and long-term projects. “We currently have two projects that we have moved up to short-term goals. The first is the design and implementation of a computer lab for the AfterSchool Program at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene. As of now, their program does not include any technology. Our goal is to give them the resources to teach the students skills with technology,” said Bonham.

   “We completed fundraising for the project this past summer and are now in the development stage of the lab and the hardware and software that will be used. We have divided the team into smaller groups, each with a specific job, to tackle the development process more efficiently.  As for long-term goals, the past two years we have been working with Mana Farms in Swaziland and will continue to work on that project bringing technology systems to the country in the next year. After the implementation of the AfterSchool Program computer lab, we will then take the concept and implement it into schools in Swaziland. Currently the students in Swaziland use chalk and slate for school. We have also met with the Tulakes community about assisting them with their food pantry.”

   Students are encouraged to join Enactus if they are looking to make a difference locally and globally. Enactus wants more than business students; they want students from all schools of knowledge, especially those who are passionate about involvement, empowerment and leadership. From right in SNU’s backyard at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene to halfway across the world at Mana Farms in Swaziland, Enactus is proving to be more than just a business club–they are a group of students equipped to change their world and the world around them.

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