BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University’s Enactus team walked away as a regional champion from its competition on April 10 in Dallas, and will move on to the national exposition, which will be held May 21-23 at the Kansas City Convention Center.
It is the team’s 32nd regional championship out of the past 33 competitions.
“One of the judges told our team that we ‘blew the competition away,’” said Angela Brown-Peterson, department chair and assistant professor of business administration. “I am very proud of how our students performed at competition, but I am even more proud of their servant hearts and eternal focus. They are truly impacting the lives they serve in our community.”
The team presented the following three projects it has identified and pursued:
SBU Enactus learned that many small businesses that open in downtown Bolivar close within the first five years of operation because they do not understand the basic practices of marketing, financial management and sustainability.
The team began working with two businesses – The Corner Shoppe and B-Town Custom Apparel. A survey of 25 participants was conducted to help determine the target market for The Corner Shoppe. Calendars also were designed to better inform customers about upcoming classes. The team assisted B-Town Custom Apparel in moving locations and re-branding, as well as generating an inventory system for more than 350 shirts, streamlining its accounting processes, and creating an internship for students to gain practical experience.
In addition, the team increased the number of businesses it was working with from one to three, adding Wee Create and increasing that business’ participants from four to eight. SBU Enactus also has helped improve the economic state of the downtown area by assisting and empowering local businesses in improving their practices.
Through its Sentrepact initiative, SBU Enactus has empowered students at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Mo., to put entrepreneurship and free enterprise skills to use in their community.
The team has sustained and expanded the program at the high school level that is similar to what Enactus is at the collegiate level, and has assisted Lebanon High School seniors and juniors as they partner with businesses in the Lebanon area.
As a result, Enactus has helped both the Lunch Lady and Thistlewood with their advertising, as well as assisted the Mighty Oak in working on bookkeeping. Eleven Sentrepact students enrolled for college credit, and the program is expanding to two schools for the 2017-2018 school year.
Community Outreach Ministries
SBU Enactus is in its second year of assisting Community Outreach Ministries (COM) in Bolivar. COM operates a food pantry for Polk County and serves more than 500 families per month.
SBU Enactus helped COM by organizing its inventory, creating informational material to promote community involvement, developing a new logo to increase consumer awareness and implementing a new inventory organization system to track sales in the thrift store.
Through these efforts, COM is better able to utilize its increased warehouse space and identify popular merchandise. Also, through increased revenues, COM is able to provide food to more families.
The team’s mission is: “Southwest Baptist University Enactus is a team of servant leaders that promotes free enterprise as a critical means of preparing others to lead rewarding, self-sufficient lives in a global society.”
“I am so proud of this group of students who have worked so hard and accomplished so much this year,” said Dr. Nathan Wright, assistant professor of business administration.
The presentation team included: Samantha Martin, a sophomore marketing major from O’Fallon; Stephen Pierce, a sophomore marketing major from Lee’s Summit; Ashley Bell, a sophomore computer information science major from Dodgeville, Wis.; Erin Corner, a junior public relations major from Green Bay, Wis.; and Taylor Parrish, a senior management and marketing major from Blue Springs.
The 2017 Enactus officers include: Parrish, president; Jordan Price, a senior marketing and international business major from Wichita, Kan., vice president of projects; Hannah Louvier, a senior management major from Salem, Ill., vice president of competition; and Emily Raines, a sophomore management major from Marshall, vice president of operations.
Project leaders are: Larissa Duckworth, a sophomore elementary education major from Eldon, who leads the “Sentrepact” project; Colton Masters, a sophomore management major from Troy, Ill., who leads the “COM” project; and Adriana Gallaher, a sophomore management major from Quincy, Ill., who leads the “Downtown Bolivar” project.
“Our students are truly making an impact and represented SBU in a Christ-like and professional manner,” said Levi Bridge, instructor of business administration and director of the MBA program. “The judges recognized that, and I am proud of the group of students we have and their representation of SBU.”
What is Enactus
Enactus, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise and with headquarters in Springfield, Mo., is an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. More than 69,000 students at more than 1,740 universities in 36 countries plan and implement community development projects to improve the world around them. At the end of each school year, the teams present their projects at a regional competition. Select teams, including SBU’s team, advance to the U.S. national competition, with the winner advancing to the Enactus World Cup in the fall, where one team is chosen the winner among all participating universities.
Cutline: Front row (left to right): Amanda Simpson, Emily Raines, Adriana Gallaher, Larissa Duckworth, Samantha Martin, Ashley Bell, Hannah Louvier, Melissa Guzman and Charmian Stanley. Back row (left to right): Brandon Sherwood, Christine Winkelman, Taylor Parrish, Colton Masters, Stephen Pierce, Erin Corner and Ben Mayfield.