St. Clair College’s nascent Enactus team won the top prize in one category, and placed second and third in two others, in the 2020 Enactus Canada Regional Exposition involving more than 70 teams from across the country.
Despite a last-minute change in the format necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis, the 35-member team placed first in the Scotia Bank Youth Empowerment Challenge, took second in the Canadian Western Bank Financial Challenge and had two third place finishes in the Scotia Bank Environmental Challenge and TD Entrepreneurship Challenge.
“They are the best results we have ever had in our short less than three-year existence,” said Jim Marsh, Dean of the Zekelman School of Business and Information Technology.
Presentation coach Teodora Milovanovic said the team was planning to attend the March 12 competition in Mississauga, when COVID-19 required a widespread stay-at-home order, grounding the 35 students who planned to attend. Competitors were instructed to move their presentations to a video platform and submit them in that format.
Despite the change and the hundreds of hours of work that had gone into planning live presentations, the team quickly adapted.
The team competed against 39 teams in the Central Canada region, in categories that included Financial Literacy, Youth Empowerment, Entrepreneurship and Climate Action. The objective of these presentations and this competition is to showcase how their community outreach projects and business ventures are making a real impact in their community and beyond.
The team’s first place finish in the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge was for Project InterACT. That project involves providing an online platform for international students that helps them develop skills and find resources to gain employment and achieve financial stability. That project also garnered a second-place finish in the CWB Financial Education Challenge.
Project reVERT received third place in the Scotiabank Climate Change Challenge. reVERT is a system designed to improve recycling efficiency by providing data analysis and education in order to reduce cross-contamination within businesses and communities. Through collaboration with Mobile App Development, Engineering, and Data Analytics students, the team came up with a sensor system that monitors the weight, height and traffic of a bins contents, collects the data, and improves recycling efficiency.
Project WoodU received third place in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge. WoodU is an educational program that provides youth with the confidence to pursue entrepreneurship as a career option, while integrating sustainable business practices. St. Clair’s Enactus team started by giving high school students a 10-week curriculum that uses the business model canvas as a blueprint for creating their very own sustainable micro-business, using waste that would have otherwise been discarded. These students then have an opportunity to create, market and sell their products.
“The last two years we’ve placed third in two of the categories,” Milovanovic said. “This year we ended up placing in every single category and it was actually our first year getting both second and first place,” she said.
Faculty advisor Michael Spadotto said the students were well prepared. “Presentation teams had been practicing for countless hours every week leading up to the event. As the competition changed to an online delivery method, our students needed to adapt quickly to this new format. Since time was limited and groups could not gather, the team got creative and worked together remotely to get the job done and bring home some outstanding results."
Sierra Scott-Kilgo, president of the 2019-2020 Enactus team at St. Clair College, said she feels the experience has given her a leg-up as she finishes up her last year in Business Finance. “It’s definitely shaped how I view interacting with people. I’ve gotten amazing opportunities to show what I can do as a leader…It really gave me a platform to express myself and fail but also get rewarded in a lot of ways that I don’t really think I could have found in many other clubs.”