A team of Edinburgh students is to represent the UK at the world’s largest social entrepreneurship competition.
They will take part in the Enactus World Cup for student-run social enterprises to be held in San Jose, California, in October.
The event brings together an international network of students, academics and business leaders seeking to transform lives and create a better future through entrepreneurial action.
Some 83 Edinburgh students – involved in eight social enterprises – were crowned Enactus UK 2018 National Champion at an event with 31 other finalists in London.
Their success saw them qualify for the World final in California. There they will showcase their work alongside the other finalists.
This feels like a very surreal experience. Our team has put in a tremendous amount of effort to create and run projects that are truly impactful and life-changing. To have our hard work recognised makes it even more rewarding.
The Edinburgh team’s winning pitch highlighted three of its newest projects at the London event.
The first, Aiding Change, provides affordable solar powered hearing aids in Ghana.
Two enterprises – Lilypads and Sanitree – provide reusable sanitary pads for women and girls in Kenya and India, and offer free menstrual health education.
The Enactus Edinburgh team, all undergraduates, come from a range of Schools across the University.
Presenting in London were social anthropology student Ines El-Saui, history student Mhairi Cochrane, civil engineering student Kofi Kufuor and Nicolette Cross from physics.
I congratulate all the Enactus Edinburgh students and those who have supported them, and I wish the team well in the international final. The students all show a passion to improve the lives of others combined with entrepreneurial drive. It’s a delight to see this flourish.
The other Edinburgh projects include Slurp, a soup enterprise working with marginalised youth in Edinburgh.
Enactus also operates the Edinburgh Candle Company, training unemployed women to make and sell candles from home; and Fog Catcher, which seeks to harvest moisture in drought-hit areas of Nepal.
Two further projects operate under the name of Palma, an insect repellent soap company run by unemployed people in the Dominican Republic and in Malawi.
Enactus Edinburgh is a registered Social Enterprise Group supported by Edinburgh University Students’ Association and Edinburgh Innovations, which manages industry engagement for the University.
I have been highly impressed by the creativity, professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by the team and the impact they have achieved. Their win is well deserved.