Having been named national champions in recognition of their innovative social enterprises, Enactus Melbourne recently represented the University of Melbourne at the Enactus World Cup in Silicon Valley, California. We spoke to President Nathan Nguyen and Vice President of Operations, Aidan D'Souza to find out more.
Enactus Melbourne is the University of Melbourne chapter of a global organization of 70,000+ students across 38 countries. Enactus Melbourne is the preeminent student society for entrepreneurship and innovation, providing students with opportunities to develop sought after skills and drive social change by creating and scaling social enterprises. Armed with our four social enterprises and the $35,000 of revenue they generated over the past year – the team at Enactus Melbourne were ready for the global stage.
"Social enterprise has always been a bit of a niche area in Melbourne. While the increasing prevalence of start-ups and consumer ethics has certainly raised our profile, being an organisation with a 'head for business and a heart for the world' has largely remained a foreign concept in Melbourne” says Nathan Nguyen. “That’s what made the Enactus World Cup so phenomenal. It was three days of immersion with global business leaders; partners and directors from the world's biggest corporates – all of whom came together for the sole purpose of developing the next generation of social entrepreneur’s".
Enactus Melbourne runs four social enterprises, with each having their own unique way of achieving the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, while providing students with an opportunity to develop sought after skills which has made them competitive in the graduate market. From reducing waste by creating a circular economy, to empowering women in Nepal by building employment opportunities, each of Enactus Melbourne's projects provide a unique solution to truly pervasive social problems.
Next year Enactus is due to celebrate fifteen years of operating at Unimelb and our team plans to make a splash. Over the last two years we’ve seen our revenue grow from $600 to $35,000+ and that’s only the beginning. Leveraging the momentum we gained from the Enactus World Cup, our team’s primary focus is to scale our existing projects into sustainable, high revenue initiatives while developing a high impact strategic project to roll out in the coming years. The Enactus World Cup really has opened our eyes to the wealth of opportunities out there. With the progress we’ve already seen in the short amount of time that we’ve been back – I have no doubt in saying that we have a shot at the World Cup finals in Holland next year.
In keeping with our theme of growth – the Enactus Melbourne team have opened applications for their first ever Summer Internship Program. Through the program, students from all faculties can apply to work on Enactus projects over the summer, with the opportunity for high performers to receive a permanent role within an Enactus project. HR Director Monique Tran – who joined just a year ago herself, notes that “seeing it all in the flesh and on a global scale – the hard work and dedication of such powerful, driven and like-minded entrepreneurs is empowering and makes all the hard work worth it”.
The entirety of the Enactus team is grateful to The Faculty of Business and Economics for their continued support. “We’d like to recognise our truly phenomenal faculty advisor – Isha Kaur who dropped everything to join our team to the US, and was with us through the late nights and early rises. A special thanks also goes to the Faculty of Engineering whose; support was integral in enabling our team to participate in such a thrilling experience”.