Exceptional entrepreneurs from the University of Sheffield who are dedicated to making the world a better place have been crowned Enactus UK Champions after helping more than 150 disadvantaged people transform their lives.
Global business leaders awarded Enactus Sheffield with the prestigious prize for their remarkable projects which have touched the lives of people not only in South Yorkshire but across the world.
The dedicated team, which is made up of 150 talented students, triumphed over 35 University teams from all over the UK at the 2014 Enactus UK National competition which took place in London earlier this week.
As UK National Champions the Sheffield team will go on to compete against 35 other countries at the Enactus World Cup 2014 in Bejing later this year.
Sheffield Enactus is a social enterprise company based at the University of Sheffield which through both social and commercial projects aims to harness students’ entrepreneurial spirit, to make a difference through innovative projects such as Homemade.
The pioneering Homemade venture saw students working with homeless people to create a jam-making business, called Bevin’s Finest Preserve, enabling people living on the streets to harness the skills necessary to move to full-time employment and a stable home.
Accounting and Finance Management student Caroline Turner, 19, is the Managing Director of Enactus Sheffield. “I still cannot believe that we have won this tremendous award,” she said.
“I saw the national competition as a brilliant way for the team to get experience and learn from innovative projects which other universities have put together – we never imagined that we would win the title and be chosen to represent the whole of Great Britain at the Enactus World Cup in Bejing.
“I am so incredibly proud and the members of Enactus are the most dedicated, driven, passionate and wonderfully talented people I have ever met. Without Enactus I wouldn’t be the person I am today – I no longer sit and procrastinate I know that with the help of others you can achieve amazing things every single day.”
Enactus Sheffield is one of the biggest groups in the UK and has empowered more than 155 individuals with volunteers dedicating more than 16,400 hours to 17 separate projects.
“I signed up to Enactus in Freshers Week,” said Caroline.
“I knew that a degree wasn’t going to be enough for me and when I heard about the team I know this was something I had to be involved in. Obviously it is extremely rewarding to see how our work can directly impact on the lives of others but in terms of personal development Enactus has been invaluable.
“When I signed up the thought of giving a talk to 20 people was terrifying and now I find presenting to 20,000 people an exciting challenge. I have been given so many amazing opportunities through Sheffield Enactus and I would truly recommended it to any student out there who just wants to make a difference – a few hours of your time can transform someone’s life forever. “
Enactus Sheffield International Director and International Development Masters student, Bethan Rimmington, 23, said: “Our ethos is to help meet each individual’s needs and we stick to this model whatever the project.
“The Hope project which helps victims of human trafficking is something which I feel exceptionally privileged to have been involved in.
“To see the transformation in people from being so vulnerable and nervous that they cannot even look you in the eye when they are speaking to you – to becoming confident, strong and successful women is absolutely amazing.
“It is an incredible experience to work with all of our beneficiaries and the culture that we have within the team is fantastic. The skills I have developed through Enactus are things which will help my in all aspects of my everyday life.”
The team have already begun working incredibly hard in preparation of the Enactus World Cup. They would welcome support from any staff, students or local business leaders who can help them bring the World Cup back to Sheffield.
Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, Professor of Enterprise and Engineering Education at the University of Sheffield said: "There are students who inspire me every day; their passion, determination and desire to change the world is breath taking. The Sheffield Enactus team are without a doubt at the top of this group of transformational students.
“Winning the Enactus UK Nationals is the cherry on top of the cake. However, the most important achievement of our team is the change they bring to the world.”
She added: “We are incredibly proud of each one of them and of previous members. They represent all we stand for at the University of Sheffield."
Founded in 1975, Enactus is an international community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world.
Enactus UK was founded in 2001 and now operates in 54 universities, with more than 3000 active students. For more information about Enactus, please visit: www.enactus.org and www.enactusuk.org
Last year, 3000 Enactus students from across the UK volunteered more than 187,000 hours to create and implement some 250 projects that improved the lives of 4800 people.
Enactus projects use innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to tackle a wide range of social needs including: empowering diverse beneficiaries such as the unemployed, homeless, struggling businesses, immigrants and ex-offenders. They also harness the expertise of engineering students to tackle issues such as sanitation, irrigation and disease oversees. These experiences not only transform lives, but give students the opportunity to step out of the classroom and develop skills firsthand and the perspective that is essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world.
In the UK, Enactus actively engages business and academic volunteers [over 470 business, 90 university and 50 alumni volunteers in 2013] who provide know-how in a framework that encourages the students to be innovative, creative, and to take advantage of the unique resources and opportunities at their university.
University of Sheffield
With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
In 2011 it was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline and Siemens, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.