Through entrepreneurial action, Southwest Baptist University’s Enactus team is fulfilling the university’s mission to be a “Christ-centered, caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society.”
It does that as it serves others while impacting the local community.
“Our mission is to serve others,” said Angie Brown-Peterson, SBU Enactus co-advisor and chair of the Department of Business Administration.
“I remind the students that God has gifted them with a business mind, but not everybody thinks that way. Their fresh ideas and business minds help.”
Enactus, formerly called Students in Free Enterprise, with headquarters in Springfield, Mo., is an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action.
Four of the students’ projects during the 2015-16 school year were:
Sentrepact. SBU Enactus is empowering students at Lebanon (Mo.) High School to put entrepreneurship and free enterprise skills to use in their community.
By creating a program at the high school level that is similar to what Enactus is at the collegiate level, Lebanon High School juniors and seniors have partnered with businesses in the Lebanon area to increase sales.
Community Outreach Ministries in Bolivar, Mo., operates a food pantry for Polk County and serves as the local Salvation Army extension unit, assisting 500-700 families per month.
“We prayed in the summer of 2015 for God to bring us help, and he did in the form of the SBU Enactus team,” said Neal DeShazo, president of COM’s board of directors.
“Their involvement via almost 200 hours of volunteering has re-energized the entire COM operation,” he said.
SBU Enactus has helped COM by organizing its warehouse to improve efficiency, contacting local groups to increase COM’s volunteer base, creating an online signup system for volunteers and assisting with Salvation Army bell-ringing fundraising efforts.
As a result, thrift store profits have increased by 11 percent; volunteer hours increased by more than 300 hours; and COM exceeded its $25,000 goal and increased bell-ringing revenue from 2014 by more than 11 percent.
Nightlight Branson. Through a continuing partnership with Nightlight Branson, SBU Enactus assisted the organization’s new director with a revised business plan, budget and accounting protocols; helped increase fundraising efforts; and created an interactive website to assist in the job search process for women leaving the sex-trafficking industry.
Downtown Bolivar. SBU Enactus partnered with one business on the Bolivar square to begin making an economic impact.
Students helped to promote Wee Create, a special space at a crafting store set aside for children to sell their craft projects.
By creating a logo and advertising the opportunity, participation in Wee Create increased by 100 percent, children learned about business practices and sales were boosted at a local business.
SBU Enactus advanced to the semifinal round in the Enactus USA national competition in St. Louis in May, placing the team in the top 20 in the nation.
The team previously won the regional competition in Rogers, Ark., in April to advance to the national competition that started with nearly 200 teams.
This is one of a seies of ministry impact articles that appeared in Word & Way. The section contains stories from organizations and institutions that were invited to share how they were impacting a life, a group or a community.