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.
1. GROUNDS FOR GROWTH
Project Managers: josh gitogo & haley daggett
Executive Manager: jassiem renfro
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 upcoming semester our main goal is to solidify all aspects of the project to make it closer to a functioning business by improving the soap and scrub, making sure we can consistently produce a quality product. We will look for consistent selling partners between churches and the store common grounds to make sure we are generating a consistent source of profit In terms of curriculum we want to look for ways to keep residents of RUM engaged throughout to ensure the residents are learning as much from the lessons as possible. By the end of the semester we want to progress the project to the point where we can think of ways to delink for the following semester.
2. OPERATION FORWARD
Project Manager: curran bhatia
Executive Manager: Jason ho
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. This semester will focus on creating the program packaging’s online medium, along with steps to create more partners to spread the packaging and more partner employers to hire our graduates.
3. PROJECT OASIS
Project Managers: dhruvi shah & natalie brady
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 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 teaches 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.
4. STAY GLASSY
PRoJect Manager: samiksha gupta
Executive Manager: jason ho
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 continuing to focus on creating a fully functional glass repurposing business. Project associates should expect to work on aspects of business development and product innovation. 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: john powell
Executive Manager: Erin McKee
Decreasing the Distance (DtD) seeks to bring clean, affordable water to those who need it the most. We are working with several project partners, both domestic and international, to provide filtered water to needful individuals in Trujillo, Peru. Using SolarBags and the work of local entrepreneurs, we will provide potable water at the lowest possible price point in a fiscally and environmentally sustainable manner. This semester, we are implementing our business plan and beginning sale of our filtered water.
Project Manager: jack sitta
Executive Manager: Erin Mckee
H2Grow is all about Hydroponics. Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or rocks by adding nutrient rich solution to facilitate growth. Our mission is to increase the awareness of what Hydroponics is and the benefits that people can receive by using a Hydroponics System. In impoverished areas with little-to- no access to a vehicle, basic access to fresh and healthy food in much of our local community is extremely limited. By bringing a simple, soil-less agricultural practice to the inner parts of these urban areas, we hope to bring access to these foods to the doorstep of our local community, creating healthy food sustainability. The vision for this coming semester is a very different direction than what previous semesters have focused on. The direction H2Grow will be going for the spring of 2018 is an educational route. Our goal is to build a curriculum that teaches students of local middle and high schools how to build a Hydroponics system, how to maintain and run it, what types of plants (fruits and vegetables) can be most effectively grown in the system, and of course the benefits the users and communities can obtain by using a Hydroponics system. Another goal is to do a “pilot run” with one local school and implement the program alongside their FFA program. We also hope to meet with a multitude of schools to develop relationships and potential future partnerships should we be successful in the pilot run. Another goal is to further develop our relationship with Prosperity Gardens and see if there is a potential partnership down the road.
7. EN-ABLE-ING ENTREPRENEURS
Project Manager: haydn lambert
Executive Manager: jassiem renfro
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. or Spring 2018, our primary goal will be creating a 501(C)3 organization which will be managed by Amanda Hedberg (the project’s founder). Additionally, we will continue to support Got You Covered. We’re also excited to begin our first class, which we will offer in conjunction with one of our new community partners: Community Choices.
8. LEAN & GREEN
Project Manager: kate carrington
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 was focused on implementing an app and a web based application that would list perishable foods at local grocery stores that were nearing their 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. his semester our team will use feedback from the last Beta test and implement the finalized business model to take Lean and Green public! This will call for Lean and Green to start actively marketing and tap into our target need groups, all while perfecting our meal process from prepping to delivery. Beyond that, we will focus on finding reliable community partners as well as finding sources of employee's and establishing a feasible fund to pay salaries and more.
9. Filify 3D
Project Manager: Wes Kramer
Executive Manager: Erin McKee
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. A few goals for this semester are to acquire the machinery necessary to shred large items to be used for extrusion, to get our product's quality up to industry standards, to attempt to use commercial plastic to create useable filament, and to perform a detailed financial analysis of the future of this project.
project manager: krupa patel
executive manager: jassiem renfro
DoNoble, a new project this semester, is a website platform aiming to create one centralized space where nonprofit organizations can ask for unused and used goods and share their missions with the charitable public. Ultimately, the website connects local nonprofit organizations to the general community. This semester, Enactus will work to develop the platform, create partnerships with local nonprofits, and inform the general community about DoNoble. Project associates staffed on DoNoble will work in a interdisciplinary environment, gaining website development experience, insight on nonprofit organizations, and partnership development skills.
11. community engagement
project manager: bharathi arasan
executive manager: nathan gaertner
This past semester, Community Engagement attended informative meetings in the community such as the Urbana City Council
Sustainability Advisory Commission Meeting and the Champaign County Board Committee of the Whole meeting. There, we learned about the impressive initiatives taking place locally and opportunities for Enactus to expand the scope of our projects and participate in those ventures. Community Engagement also contributed towards the execution of the second annual Social Entrepreneurship Panel: Be the Change in partnership with SCNO. This student-led initiative focused on promoting social entrepreneurship at UIUC by exploring the experiences of social entrepreneurs through interactive discussion. The 2-hour panel event was packed with meaningful testimonies and provoking conversations around strategies and steps needed to channel passion for an issue into a testable idea, and ultimately, examine how to create a social enterprise to drive sustainable social change. Designed as a strategic resource for students interested in learning more about driving social change through entrepreneurship, this event left attendees eager to pursue opportunities in the social entrepreneurship space.