Our projects are the heart of what we do.

Typically, a project will be sourced from our members (many times from our New Member Program capstones). Several of the projects below have been part of our portfolio for years - others, months. New members are assigned to projects based on preference and project needs. each of these projects have been carefully sourced, analyzed, and supported to ensure their impact and success.


ACTIVE PROJECTS


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1. GROUNDS FOR GROWTH

Project Manager: Nancy Medrano

Executive Manager: JOSH giTOGO

Grounds for Growth is a small personal care business that upcycles discarded soap and coffee grounds to create sustainably sourced soap and scrub products. This business operates with the cooperation of the residents of Restoration Urban Ministries; an organization that provides affordable housing and counseling to low income individuals and families. Each week, members of Illinois Enactus visit the residents to teach lessons on vocational skills and financial literacy and facilitate the necessary business procedures. Including manufacturing, sales, and ownership. All revenue streams benefit the residents of Restoration Urban Ministries. In Fall 2018, we were able to establish 3 retail partners and create higher revenues than any other semester. We empowered the lives of 21 residents at Restoration Urban ministries with practical business lessons and the manufacturing of hundreds of soaps and scrubs.


2. STAY GLASSY

PRoJect Manager: HANNAH GAFFNER

Executive Manager: JOSH GITOGO

Stay Glassy is a project seeking to upcycle used glass bottles to create an assortment of usable products including vases, candles, drinking glasses, and decorative goods. Glass is an abundant and unrecyclable resource in the Champaign-Urbana community. Glass that is disposed of in landfills can take up to one million years to completely decompose. By taking old glass bottles produced from community waste, our mission is to prevent large amounts of glass from ending up in landfills through our upcycling process. Moreover, we would also hope our project will continue to promote a source of enjoyment and education for community members by having individuals sand and decorate their own pre-cut glasses. In terms of ensuring a sustainable business, we host selling events to sell our pre-made products and we run workshops for community members. Currently, Stay Glassy is operating to achieve two goals: to reduce glass waste and educate individuals on the benefits of upcycling in Champaign-Urbana.


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3. DONABLE

project managerS: HENRY YU & joseph abe-bell

executive manager: krupa patel

Donable is an online hub to discover, support, and connect with local nonprofits to help them effectively fulfill their campaigns. Our mission is to reduce waste and elevate nonprofits by matching nonprofit needs with optimal donors. On the site, donors can list items they wish to donate and nonprofits can get connected and claim the donation. Nonprofits can also list their needs so that donors can see what is really most needed and where their donation can go.


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4. Circle Cycle

project manager: JESSICA HUANG

executive manager: KRUPA PATEL

Circle Cycle aims to address the bike waste problem on U of I campus by creating a community bike shop/bicycle repair program that serves to empower economically disadvantaged youth with technical skills and entrepreneurial skills while providing them a safe space for personal development. Circle Cycle was started as a new project last semester. It was awarded $10,000 from the Ford Mobility Innovation Challenge grant. Circle Cycle also successfully secured a community partnership with the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club which will help us promote the program among the youth group and provide key inputs for the pilot program. The project has also received support from Urbana Park District and Champaign Public Library to potentially host interactive one-day events to help us reach our need group and engage with the local community.


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5. TIRE-LESS

Project Manager: SYDNEY KWAN

Executive Manager: JOSH giTOGO

Tire-Less is a new project that seeks to upcycle used tire waste that would otherwise be incinerated. The aim of the project is to create furniture pieces such as chairs and ottomans to be sold to businesses and individuals in our community. In the future, Tire-Less will use its business to teach a need group technical and financial skills.

Vision and Goals for the Semester:
The main goal for this semester is to create a successful used tire product and investigate its marketability.
1. Create a prototype of the product and document the production process
2. Secure a workspace and a reliable source of tires
3. Conduct market research based on the prototype to determine pricing and a target market


6. JUSTICE FOR JUVENILES

project manager: AARTHI MAHESH

executive manager: BHARATHI ARASAN

Justice For Juveniles is a newly sourced capstone that aims to reduce recidivism in the CU community. This project will focus on developing a curriculum to educate incarcerated youth on financial literacy through workshop-based classes. In addition, Justice for Juveniles will establish a community of local businesses to employ individuals post-incarceration.

This semester, J4J will largely focus on setting up the framework of the curriculum to properly address the needs of the incarcerated youth:
1) Creating a working, solidified draft of the curriculum that properly addresses the needs and interests of the need group
2) Establishing relationships with at least 3 businesses to employ incarcerated youth post-release
3) Conducting a beta-test of the curriculum using a focus group at the end of the semester


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7. Filify 3D

EXECUTIVE MANAGER: KRUPA PATEL

Filify 3D’s mission is to reduce plastic waste in the Champaign Urbana community, provide employment opportunities and career stepping stones for those in need, and promote science and creativity through the power of 3D printing. In order to do this, we are starting a business that takes plastic waste and recycles it into 3D printer filament to be sold at printing facilities across campus. Filify is working to not only find a profitable way to recycle plastic waste but it is also working to inspire STEM interest in high school youth through the power of 3D printing. We have been able to take failed prints from two major printing facilities across campus and create 3D printing filament from them.


8. community engagement

project manager: YOGA SUNDAR

executive manager: Bharathi Arasan 

The Community Engagement team is an internal initiative that works to bridge the gap between Illinois Enactus and Champaign-Urbana. By attending community meetings, organizing panel discussions, hosting workshops, recruiting Business Advisory Board members, and creating protocols, CE uses its knowledge about the local community to expand the scope and impact of our project portfolio. This semester, we aim to recruit new members to the Business Advisory Board, establish a mutually beneficial relationship with like-minded student organizations and create and solidify a system of routine check-ins with our three delinked projects (Project Oasis, Operation Forward, and En-ABLE-ing Entrepreneurs)


DE-LINKED PROJECTS


1. EN-ABLE-ING ENTREPRENEURS

Access our social media page here! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for persons with disabilities in 2017 reached 17.5%, compared to a rate of approximately 6% for persons without a disability. It is precisely this “unemployment gap” that En-ABLE-ing Entrepreneurs seeks to mitigate by providing custom employment opportunities through entrepreneurship for adults with developmental or physical disabilities. In order to accomplish this goal, EE’s mission is twofold. First, we seek to create a curriculum model which service providers (agencies which serve persons with disabilities) can use to teach entrepreneurial skills to its clients. Second, EE seeks to form a nonprofit organization which will house small businesses as “divisions” run by entrepreneurs who have completed our program and demonstrate the skills necessary to be successful business owners. EE will provide these businesses with oversight, support, and a stable income to supplement (or perhaps one day replace) their Social Security Disability income. This semester, we developed a curriculum model for entrepreneurs, established marketing strategies and materials, and secured funding for necessary materials. We are excited to be delinking to the En-ABLE-ing Entrepreneurs nonprofit.


2. OPERATION FORWARD  

Operation Forward is a program aiming to reduce inequalities in education by providing an accessible curriculum covering financial literacy and vocational training. We provide the curriculum and know-how to organizations providing resources to adult learners experiencing incarceration, homelessness, or hardship. Our lessons are curated to promote confidence to learners to re-enter or excel in the workforce, achieve financial stability, and get back on their feet. A few examples of topics covered in our curriculum include resume creation, interviews, budgeting, and goal setting. Last semester, we had a lot of great achievements this semester as we expanded our project to new cities! We secured partnerships with University of Illinois at Chicago, Carthage College and University of Michigan.


3. PROJECT OASIS

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 upcoming semester, we will continue to conduct a needs analysis from various organization to establish partnerships and workshop sourcing events for the immigrant population. We plan on delinking the website that provides resource and event information for immigrants to the YMCA’s New American Welcome Center (NAWC). In addition, we will begin sourcing, modifying, and finally hosting workshops that teache the immigrant population about financial literacy, entrepreneurial abilities, and the sustainability of family owned businesses. 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.