Thirty students from the University of Sydney will represent Australia at the Enactus World Cup in London next week, after triumphing over fifteen other universities at the Nationals Conference earlier this year.
Enactus Sydney is an interdisciplinary student-led organisation that uses entrepreneurial action to create sustainable social enterprises. At the World Cup, they’ll present their projects and participate in workshops and panels.
Their flagship project, Culinary Tales, provides an opportunity for refugees to run cooking classes. More than just a source of income, the cooking classes are also a chance for the refugees to share their culture and experiences with the community.
“The idea is based on food’s powerful ability to forge connections between people from different cultures and across generations,” says team president Jonathan Tan (Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws). “The program has given some of the refugee chefs the confidence and connections needed to start their own businesses and charities.”
The team will also present the Pop Up Project, a program that gives disadvantaged young people the chance to learn business, hospitality and customer service skills. The Pop Up Project works with local youth services, cafes and schools to run workshops, barista courses and an on-campus waffle stall.
"It's really rewarding to see the participants develop self-confidence, motivation and a sense of future direction through the program,” says team vice-president Sharon Yin (Bachelor of Commerce/ Bachelor of Laws).
The third project, Flashback, is a creative writing program that provides a platform for elderly people to share their experiences and explore their creativity.
“The team show a strong a commitment to solving ‘messy’ real world problems, leveraging the entrepreneurial skills developed in their university coursework,” says Associate Director of Financial Planning and Performance Improvement Andrew Lee, Enactus Sydney’s faculty advisor. “The cross-disciplinary mix of students who participate in Enactus facilitates a truly collaborative experience.”
The team are looking forward to meeting other Enactus groups from around the world.
“At the end of the day, we are all tackling similar social issues in the community and we hope to foster a sense of partnership with other universities,” says Sharon. “By working together, we’ll be able to create sustainable solutions that will ultimately be most beneficial and empowering for the community.”