Yuri Blaise, Troy Heinzmann, Shruti Shah, Kelsey Noris, Sandra Vizer, Katie Clarfield, Rachel Bowden and Elizabeth Fechtel
UF Enactus' Presentation Team, from left, Yuri Blaise, Troy Heinzmann, Shruti Shah, Kelsey Noris, Sandra Vizer, Katie Clarfield, Rachel Bowden and Elizabeth Fechtel.

UF Enactus posts best national finish in nearly a decade

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – UF Enactus, a Career & Leadership Program in the Heavener School of Business, finished in the top 12 at the 2015 Enactus United States National Exposition on April 13-16 in St. Louis.

UF Enactus’ finish was the organization’s best result in the national competition since it reached the top 12 in 2006.

“This result is just as much a reflection of the team’s dedication this year, as it is the promising results of the major changes the team made last year,” said Lisa D’souza, the Heavener School’s Director for Career & Leadership Programs & Enactus Sam Walton Fellow.

Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. The organization has 533 active teams totaling more than 16,000 students.

The National Exposition assesses which Enactus team “most effectively used entrepreneurial action to empower people to improve their livelihoods in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.” Teams give a 25-minute presentation, including a question-and-answer session with judges, detailing their activities over the past year.

Interestingly, UF Enactus participated in 10 projects this past year—down from 22 a year ago. The consolidation of projects was by design, D’souza said, to make a greater impact on what they considered to be key initiatives.

“Our relationships with our community partners are now stronger,” said senior and Enactus member Shruti Shah. “We can devote more time to each individual project, enabling them to flourish.”

In all, UF Enactus’ 46 members, 325 volunteers and nine Business Advisory Board members, completed 8,303 hours of service and impacted 2,455 people in the Gainesville area. The team’s projects addressed helping homeless individuals gain employment, economic needs of area small businesses and non-profit organizations, teaching children about nutritional eating and gardening, and educating underprivileged children on basic financial topics among other worthwhile causes.

To learn more about UF Enactus, visit http://www.ufenactus.org/.