After successfully competing in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, March 29, undergraduate students in Regent University’s Enactus chapter will be readying themselves for the 2016 Enactus National Exposition in Saint Louis, Missouri. Seven students showcased two years of work to demonstrate how their chapter promoted financial literacy and used free enterprise to make a difference in their community. The regional competitions also provided presenters the opportunity to network with corporate representatives and attend an Enactus job fair.
Over the past two years, Regent’s Enactus team has been involved in three main projects. A “Tax Project” helped residents in low-income housing in Virginia Beach, and retired veterans and active duty military members at Langley Air Force Base file their tax returns. The team’s “Boda-Boda Project” assisted boda, or motorbike, taxi drivers in Uganda microfinance their business operations. Enactus members helped connect drivers with grants so they could purchase motorbike taxis.
In the third project, Enactus students worked with Regent’s Ordinary, the on-campus dining facility, and the Swan Terrace Restaurant at The Founder’s Inn and Spa to make market-based improvements to attract more business. After implementing some changes, the Ordinary saw a 50 percent increase in revenue. Recommendations included lower pricing, smaller options, grab-and-go meals, adding variety and loyalty programs. Student dinner sales doubled after a new menu was introduced, tripling the Ordinary’s evening earnings. Enactus students presented these findings before judges Tuesday.
“The students worked hard and put in the effort, not only in getting the presentation right, but all year on our projects,” said Dr. Brian Baugus, Enactus faculty adviser. “We had some obstacles and bumps along the way, but they stayed focused and saw things through. We had some great partners willing to work with us, like Jennifer Gribble in the Ordinary. More important than a trophy or a trip, we made and will continue to make a positive difference in real people’s lives.”
“Business literacy is important,” said Chelsey Marto, president of Enactus. “A lot of students don’t know how to run a business or do communication or marketing. When you teach them in Enactus, it makes them more prepared down the road, so they know what reports look like, how to speak with business leaders and how to deliver presentations. It gives them a leg-up when they graduate.”
Marto says undergraduate students from all majors are welcome in Enactus clubs. She plans to attend law school after graduating in May. She sought out the Enactus experience to impove her business skills so she can one day run her own law practice involving child advocacy law. Her team’s recent victory will bring members back together after graduation for the National Exposition May 15-17. They’ll keep working and improving their projects before presenting nationally. This work will be in addition to many more hours spent rehearsing and preparing for the final presentation. Their project will continue as Regent’s Enactus chapter adds new projects next fall.