A team of students from the University of Exeter Enactus Society successfully reached the Enactus UK National Finals last week, confirming their place in the top 5 teams in the country.
The National Expo event saw 63 Enactus university teams from around the UK showcase their social enterprise projects to a virtual audience and Enactus UK judging panel. Enactus Exeter showcased three of their projects – BioSmart, Urban Mushroom Company and Oyana Soaps.
BioSmart is one of Enactus Exeter’s international projects that aims to tackle fuel poverty in Kadzinuni, Kenya. The BioSmart team built specially designed furnaces which burn agricultural waste and turn them into Biochar – a sustainable fuel source that provides a local alternative to Charcoal, and is sold by teams of women at local markets.
The Urban Mushroom Company is a locally-based project that aims to tackle the environmental impacts of food waste by upcycling used coffee grounds to grow gourmet mushrooms. They also work with local business partners to offer work experience to disadvantaged individuals at their HQ in Exeter.
Oyana Soaps is another international social enterprise project that works with the NGO Doxa, to empower disadvantaged women in Kwa Murugi, Kenya, by giving them the resources and knowledge to run a handmade soap business and become financially independent.
The University of Exeter competed in the final, alongside Universities of Nottingham, Southampton, Newcastle and Kings College London.
John Murphy, Co-President of Enactus Exeter said: ‘Taking part in the National Expo and reaching the finals and Top 5 university teams in the country is a testament to all the hard work every member of Enactus has put in this year. It has been challenging but so rewarding seeing the social enterprises progress and deliver tangible impact for people and the environment’.
Amy Brereton, Chief Operating Officer of Enactus UK was delighted with the success of the event. She said: “Congratulations to the 2021 National Enactus Top 5 team from the University of Exeter, and all of our 65 teams and 3000+ students who delivered so much more social and community impact through their projects this year. Every stage of the many competitions was fiercely contested this year and that is down to the hard work of all involved in the programme; from team members, business coaches and volunteers, as well as the support from the university and alumni mentors.”
Enactus Exeter is a community of university of students who establish local and international projects to tackle social and environmental challenges. Enactus Exeter have seven active social enterprise projects in total, and two were established in the last year.
Enactus Exeter receive ongoing support from the University of Exeter Student Startups team, who provide regular mentoring and advice to help them progress their social enterprise projects.
Emily Davies, SETsquared Exeter Student Startup Manager said: “It is such a privilege to be University Advisor to Enactus Exeter. The team have shown remarkable resilience over the last year, continuing to make significant impact both here in the city of Exeter and to the communities they work with internationally. This is the second year that the team has reached the National Finals and I’m incredibly proud of how they have represented the University at such a high-profile national event.”