1. GROUNDS FOR GROWTH

Project Managers: Reina Patel & Tobi Ijose

Executive Manager: Maika Kumamoto

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Grounds for Growth (G4G) is a mini-business that works to recycle used coffee grounds from local coffee shops and lightly used soap from local hotels into a purposeful bar of soap. G4G has partnered with Restoration Urban Ministries (RUM), a nonprofit organization that provides services and temporary housing to those in need in the CU community, for several semesters. The business provides an opportunity for residents to engage in running a business, earn a profit, and learn from a vocational training curriculum. This semester Grounds for Growth will be focusing on diversifying its product line, solidifying its marketing strategy to increase sales, and strengthening the curriculum to improve its impact on RUM residents. The goal of the project is to have RUM participants benefit from the soap and scrub business as well as learn from the curriculum to further their personal life goals.  


2. OPERATION FORWARD  

Project Manager: Yasmine Gordon

Executive Manager: Maika Kumamoto

Illinois Enactus will be working with Courage Connection for the eighth semester this Spring. Operation Forward aims to help the women of Courage Connection, the only domestic violence shelter in the Champaign-Urbana community, in achieving financial stability through facilitating a comprehensive vocational training curriculum that covers topics such as financial literacy, continuing education, and mastering a job interview. This project strives to facilitate Courage Connection in building the most conducive environment for the clients to realize their potential and independence. This semester, Operation Forward is focusing on establishing means for Courage Connection to sustain the program in the future - mainly financially. Several main goals for this semester also include: training the clients and equipping them with hard and soft skills through the Job Certification Program, maintaining a 100% job placement for successful participants of the program, increasing business partnerships, and finding a process for verifying/authenticating our vocational training programs and other vocational training programs in the area.

 

3. PROJECT OASIS

Project Manager: Khadeeja Salehbhai

Executive Manager: Jason Ho

The mission of Project Oasis is to market a digital, centralized resource center to assist the needs of the growing immigrant population in the area. This semester, Enactus will continue to update and improve our existing website that currently functions as a resource center. Furthermore, the project Oasis team will be working closely with the University YMCA's New American Welcome Center initiative to provide immigrants and refugees with workshops on how to create their own small businesses/pursue professional careers, provide direction on community resources, and guidance & mentorship. Project associates can expect to gain experience with program/website development, conducting desktop research on immigrant communities and available resources in the Champaign-Urbana community, and strategic partnership planning.

 

4. STAY GLASSY

PRoJect Manager: Sam Mcclary

Executive Manager: Maika Kumamoto

Stay Glassy looks to target glass bottles, an abundant and unused resource in the Champaign-Urbana community, to create a product that will benefit the community. By working with underserved members of our community to create a viable marketplace product, Stay Glassy achieves two goals: reduce glass waste and create meaningful employment in Champaign-Urbana. This semester, the project is changing scope from educating the community through "at home'' glass up-cycling workshops to focusing on a glass repurposing business. Project associates should expect to work on aspects of business development and product innovation. With this changing scope, Stay Glassy is looking for creative and dedicated PA's with a critical eye to help form and assess this new business venture!

 

5. DECREASING THE DISTANCE

Project Manager: Reilly Devine

Executive Manager: Erin McKee

Decreasing the Distance (DtD) is a project whose mission is to bring affordable, clean water to those that need it most. This semester, we are concentrating on refining our design for in-home filters and getting a better understanding of the diseases faced in our target market - Trujillo, Peru. All participants, technical and nontechnical majors, will gain experience in laboratory settings and the environment of international business as we test our filter's effectiveness and work with our Peruvian project partners.


 

6. H2GROW

Project Manager: Nikhil Shiva

Executive Manager: Erin Mckee

In the coming semester, Enactus will embark upon aquaponics research at the University of Illinois Plant Sciences Laboratory’s greenhouse units. In short, aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture—the raising of fish—with hydroponics—the soil-less growing of plants—in order to grow fish and plants together in a single integrated system. This research is taking place in hopes that it can be applied in our local Champaign-Urbana community, which in many areas is considerably affected by a scarcity of healthy produce, coupled with a lack of economic opportunity. Logistically, in an aquaponics system, fish waste is used to provide nutrients to crops contained in the same system. Once established in the community, applied aquaponics will allow residents greater access to fresh produce in the center of urban areas, while also allowing growers a new form of revenue and economic opportunity not yet realized in the local economy. Enactus is also exploring the opportunity to implement a scaled-down version of the aquaponics system with an international community partner. Project associates can expect to work on conducting research to determine optimal produce levels for the aquaponics system, track-data related to the system, external relations management.


7. EN-ABLE-ING ENTREPRENEURS

Project Managers: Grace Kelley & Jassiem Renfro

Executive Manager: Erin McKee

We seek to bring entrepreneurship opportunities to those who would not normally have them - in this case, to three developmentally disabled adults in Champaign county who have started their own T-shirt printing business. This semester, En-ABLE-ing Entrepreneurs will work to officially incorporate the business, train our entrepreneurs in their various roles, and help them build a network of customers in the C-U area. We are looking for people of all majors who have strong communication skills, patience, and empathy. Team members will be expected to meet with the entrepreneurs once a week on campus, and travel occasionally to the storefront as well.

 

8. LEAN & GREEN

Project Managers: Josh Kirby & Momo Sahoo

Executive Manager: Jason Ho

Lean & Green aims to empower low income families to be able to access and afford healthier foods, namely fresh produce. Previously, this project is focused on implementing an app and a web based application that will list perishable foods at local grocery stores that are nearing expiration dates. The project has now changed scope to include a healthy food delivery service with pre-prepped, ready to cook meals in a similar fashion to a service like Blue Apron or HomeChef, to encourage healthy cooking habits. The main objective over the next semester is to further develop simple, healthy recipes that cost less than $3 per portion, streamlining the prepping process, and finalizing a sustainable business model.

 

9. Filify 3D

Project Manager: Wes Kramer

Executive Manager: Erin McKee

Filify 3D is a new project this semester, working to make 3D printing more sustainable and eco-friendly. This semester, the project is looking to sell fused filament ends (which are otherwise thrown away) back to campus 3D Printing labs. We will also be constructing and refining the design to a shredder and extruder to recycle failed prints. Ultimately, we hope to expand our capacity to be able to recycle plastic water bottles for use in 3D prints. This project is a cross a functional one, and both technical and nontechnical majors are encouraged to apply.