Enactus Acadia, the non-profit organization for student entrepreneurs, returned home from the 2013 Enactus National Exposition in Toronto with the Opening Round Runner-up award. Co-Presidents David Paterson and Brooklyn Daigle presented alongside team members Suzanne Gray, Gabriel Smith, Mitchell Millett, and Bethany Dickey. Fifty-one teams from across Canada met at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on May 7th and 8th and showcased how their projects had improved quality of life and standard of living for people within their communities.
Acadia faced Enactus Ryerson in the opening round and Paterson acknowledges that the team learned much from Ryerson, who went on to become the National Champions.
For our team to see the very best projects in the entire country, it was just inspiring, Paterson said. Ryerson flew to Dago, Kenya to help 20 women in the community start their own businesses and taught financial literacy to more than 300 households. Another inspiring example was Enactus Brandon, which planted 120 garden plots that were harvested for their local food bank. Enactus Memorial, who won the National Runner-up award, is examining a biofuel generator that can reduce fuel costs on local chicken farms. Both ideas, Paterson noted, have obvious applicability to Acadia University, situated as it is in the Annapolis Valley.
We have so much agricultural land around here that it would be great to grow some crops in the summer months for the Wolfville and Area Food Bank.
There was also a very pleasant surprise in Toronto when each of the Scotiabank EcoLiving Green Challenge Regional Champions were invited to a round table discussion with Arlene Dickenson, of the popular reality television program Dragon’s Den on CBC. The invitation stemmed from the award winning Back to the Tap project, a concept that Paterson conceived in 2009 and successfully implemented in the KC Irving Centre earlier this year.
Brooklyn, Bethany, and I joined in a discussion with Dickenson where we talked with her about the future of green business. She was impressed with the water fountain project and said,
I think you’ve really got something here. It was amazing to hear her speak.
But as much as inspiration and celebrity impressed the team—additionally in Mitchell’s case the sheer size of Toronto was impressive—the most valuable part of the whole experience for Paterson was
learning from the other teams and seeing the tremendous impact that they could have on people’s daily lives just through the power of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Innovative thinking and the energy to effect change was on display in abundance this year at Enactus Acadia. Through the March Against Hunger campaign the team canvassed over 600 homes and collected $3,050 of non-perishable food items and cash donations for the Wolfville and Area Food Bank. The team also implemented the Community volunteer Income Tax Program, which helped ten food bank clients receive a combined total of almost $27,384 in tax returns. Finally, Enactus Acadia visited four grade nine classrooms in partnership with Junior Achievement’s Economics for Success program, which taught high school students about how staying in school relates to employability and their future success.
Enactus Acadia’s hard work was celebrated this year at the Atlantic Regional Exposition when it took home the first place award in the Scotiabank EcoLiving Challenge, second runner-up in the Capital One Financial Literacy Challenge, and second runner-up in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge. It was also at the Atlantic Regionals that Michael Craig was named Regional Student Entrepreneur Champion for his business, Roxbur Ski and Snowboard Club. Standing in the wings for support throughout exposition were faculty advisors Iona Green and Donna Sears.
As for David Paterson, he graduates with both his BBA and B.Ed degrees. While it is certain that he will not soon forget his experience at Acadia or his time with SIFE/Enactus, he will certainly remain with Enactus Acadia in spirit as they continue their work in the community.
I’m excited to see what the team can accomplish over the next couple of years. We have incredibly talented and passionate members—I know this is just the beginning of great things for Enactus Acadia.
About the Manning School
Founded in 1957, the Manning School at Acadia University is home to over 600 students from over 20 countries. With 23 faculty members from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, the Manning School offers small classes that encourage concentrated interaction between students and faculty. Our students have opportunities to learn outside the classroom through co-op placements, projects with local enterprises, and international exchanges. Firmly rooted in a rich institutional legacy that personifies the very essence of a liberal education, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Acadia is challenging and flexible, allowing students to explore a broad range of interests and producing well-rounded graduates who are well-positioned to pursue varied professional opportunities. As testimony, our graduates work in leadership roles across Canada and around the globe, with many having made their Acadia BBA degree a pathway to prestigious graduate programs.