Southern Adventist University Enactus Team Brings Global Spotlight

Social entrepreneurship initiatives commended at world cup competition.

Amanda Blake
Southern Adventist University Enactus Team Brings Global Spotlight
From left to right: Brandon Reese, Lauryn Daniels, Abigail Cornelius, Katelyn Savino, and Erick Baltodano. In October, the team of Southern Adventist University students traveled to Utrecht, Netherlands, for the Enactus World Cup. [Photo: Southern Adventist University]

The Enactus chapter at Southern Adventist University, a Seventh-day Adventist educational institution in Collegedale, Tennessee, represented the United States on a global stage alongside the University of Texas (UT) at Austin at this year’s Enactus World Cup. Leaders of the student organization traveled to the intercultural event in Utrecht, Netherlands, in late October to collaborate and showcase projects with other top teams.

The Southern and UT at Austin chapters presented two Enactus U.S. projects, including Southern’s premier project, Akuna Soap Industry. The soap business, based in Zambia, enables local women to support themselves and their families by selling high-quality, affordable soap. The team exhibited how the enterprise has not only helped secure employment for women but also invested US$250,000 in the regional economy by sourcing ingredients locally.

“Our team has been filled with inspiration and hope for the future following this event. We grew an even greater passion for our mission of social entrepreneurship and service to God,” said Kate Savino, junior accounting major and Southern’s chapter president. “I am extremely grateful for Southern’s support of Enactus and our journey to the World Cup. It is through opportunities like this one that I have learned the importance of using my unique skills to serve Christ and His children.”

Enactus is a non-profit movement spanning 33 countries dedicated to developing the planet’s next generation of business leaders. The institution empowers students to use innovative entrepreneurship to aid communities in need through sustainable social and environmental projects.

Southern’s chapter placed third in the country at the Enactus U.S. National Exposition last spring, ranking in the elite 1 percent of more than 300 teams. The first-place U.S. university did not attend the World Cup, paving the way for students from Southern and UT at Austin, who placed second at the exposition, to attend.

“What an enriching opportunity! Our students networked with people from around the world and worked closely with a superlative U.S. business school to share the presentation stage with No. 1 Enactus teams from all participating countries,” said Michelle Doucoumes, associate professor in Southern’s School of Business and Enactus faculty sponsor. “The judges commended their work. I believe the students represented our university amazingly.”

Enactus, an international organization, has hundreds of universities and thousands of students participating in its U.S. division. The organization began in 1975 as SIFE, or Students in Free Enterprise, and changed its name in 2012 to Enactus.

The Enactus World Cup, or the Enactus, is an international social entrepreneurship project presentation competition for university students organized by the international non-profit organization, which is based in Springfield, Missouri.

Amanda Blake