The Illinois College Enactus team has rocked its competition over the last two years, beating out big universities at regional and national competitions while also assisting the community by providing an assortment of volunteer services.
Enactus stands for Entrepreneurship Action and Us. As its name alludes, Enactus is a very active club with opportunities that are an integration business and service. Throughout the year members of Enactus invest their time into applying for grants, marketing for small businesses, learning sustainable business practices, and donating to charity. The club is open to anyone and now counts as a Civic Engagement credit on the BLUEprint.
In an interview with the Enactus president, senior Matt Justice, he said that what sets Enactus apart from other groups is that “for a lot of community service you go out and you do something physical: walking dogs, painting fences, things like that. What we are doing is more; it’s using your college degree. We’re writing grants and doing a lot of business stuff like presentations and helping businesses with doing things that aren’t just ground work. It requires a lot of intellectual ability.”
Once a year the team attends a national competition, where they fit all of the year’s accomplishments into a 17 minute presentation to be given in front of CEOs and recruiters from some of the nation’s biggest companies and are judged based on impact and sustainability of the projects they have done. There is also a career fair which provides opportunities to meet and network with the major CEOs and recruiters, one of which this year was the CEO of Fuerrero Chocolate, one of the largest chocolate companies in the world.
As far as competition goes, this year they barely missed out on the quarter finals, but last year they knocked out teams from three of the Big Ten schools. “I think it says a lot about the students we have and the team we have built over the last 6 to 10 years,” says Justice.
Another busy member of Enactus, senior Brett Thixton, added, “We beat teams with budgets triple and quadruple the size of ours and I think it really speaks about Illinois College, the environment we have here. As far as doing things goes, we may not have the most resources, or at least the resources of interest compared to other Universities, but we can go out there and compete.”
While most members are business-minded or have some business background, not everyone is econ, accounting or finance majors. Next year’s president, Kelly Bishop is a biology and chemistry major and there are also members with various interests and areas of study, including history, music, physics, math, and political science.
Enactus highly encourages anyone who is interested in joining to come to a meeting on Mondays at 6pm or contact one of the members including Bret Thixton, Matt Justice, Kelly Bishop, TJ Devine, John Rush, or anyone else on campus wearing an Enactus polo.