Enactus conference and competition with Nathan Wang

The University of Melbourne Enactus team recently flew to Sydney to participate in the Enactus National Conference and Competition. They came home with a semi-finalist trophy and their President, Michael Zhao won The Most Outstanding Enactus student award. Here, Nathan Wang shares his experience during the event.

ENACTUS is made up by a group of social entrepreneurs scattered over 36 countries and 70,000+ students who create entrepreneurial projects to tackle global social issues. At the heart of what Enactus does is seeing opportunity out of problems. We want to create student entrepreneurs who look at the world and its social issues with a problem-solving mindset, rather than a problem-identifying one.

-The Enactus Team

The National Competition is where all Enactus teams in each country come together to present their projects for the year and compete for a spot to present on the World Stage at the Enactus World Cup, hosted this year in the heart of Silicon Valley – San Jose, California.

Our team competed with two of our projects: Nexus Abroad and Project Healer. Nexus targeted social issues such as poverty and underemployment, teaching women in a Nepalese village to handcraft novelty books out of trees and leaves that we sell at a premium in Australia, creating a sustainable source of income and empowerment for these women. While Project Healer addressed overfishing in regions in India by using Aloe Vera farming as a sustainable source of income so the community is less reliant on fishing.

- The team learning to put the Value Proposition Canvas into practice.

Other universities presented projects that dealt with issues such as homelessness through creating artistic products, teaching the elderly to use modern technology to help them stay relevant in this fast-paced society, mental health through a student-to-student platform, food wastage by creating chutney out of wasted tomatoes that are now selling in retail chains and many, many more.

The most inspiring thing about the event was not just the range and scope of these social entrepreneurial projects, but the fact that all of these projects and their impact, were at the hands of students. Meeting with like-minded and incredibly smart student entrepreneurs from all over the country was very humbling and encouraging. As students, we are in a sweet spot of being able to learn various skills quickly, have the energy to start a business, have the resources to secure monetary and mentorship support – everything we need to be social entrepreneurs.

-The Enactus Team

- The University of Melbourne second round presentation.

When we got back to our hotel at 11pm, our motivated team brainstormed and fleshed out a whole new project idea for the next year, getting only four hours of sleep despite having to present again early the next day.

The day after arriving back home, our team had already begun validating our new project based around homelessness, talking to homeless people to learn what they actually want, rather than what we assume and think they want.

That’s what it means to take entrepreneurial action to create a better world for us all.
That’s what it means to be part of Enactus.

If you want to support our projects, you can buy a unique notebook, each individually handcrafted out of trees by women from the Nangi Village in Nepal at projnexus.org. These are also stocked at the Alan Gilbert Cafe.  Recyclable coffee cups are stocked at:

  • Cafe Commercio at The Spot
  • Professor's Walk Cafe at Baillieu Library
  • Brew Sisters at Stop 1
  • Animal Orchestra on Grattan Street.

You can also visit the Facebook page to buy either.

For more information about the range of Clubs and Societies click here.