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.
Project Managers: Nancy Medrano & Josh Gitogo
Executive Manager: Bharathi Arasan
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.
Project Manager: Allison Leach
Executive Manager: jassiem renfro
View website here. 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. STAY GLASSY
PRoJect Manager: Banu Gulecyuz
Executive Manager: Jassiem Renfro
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!
4. EN-ABLE-ING ENTREPRENEURS
Project Manager: haydn lambert & Natalie Brady
Executive Manager: jassiem renfro
Access 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. 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.
5. LEAN & GREEN
Project Manager: yoga sunDAR
Executive Manager: Jassiem renfro
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.
6. Filify 3D
Project Manager: BRIAN TYRIAN & TRISHA GUPTA
Executive Manager: BHARATHI ARASAN
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: Rachel Rosa
executive manager: krupa patel
View website here. Donable, 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 Donable . Project associates staffed on Donable will work in a interdisciplinary environment, gaining website development experience, insight on nonprofit organizations, and partnership development skills.
8. Circle Cycle
project manager: Hui Yi Koh
executive manager: KRUPA PATEL
CircleCycle will recruit students who wish to be trained in bicycle repair and entrepreneurship. Students will undergo a course where they learn about the different parts of a bicycle, safety training and repair skills. After completing the course, students will be given a repaired bicycle and brand-new safety equipment. Students who express interest in continuing to the next stage of the program will learn how to manage a repair shop, organize bicycle rides/tours (in collaboration with Champaign Park District) and engage in work to repair other leftover bicycles on campus. The bicycles will then be sold through Free and For Sale/other suitable channels to incoming students at UIUC, and the profit will go towards giving the students an allowance and covering overhead and repair costs. Lastly, graduates of the program will be recruited to take over and run the shop full-time.
9. community engagement
project manager: Dhruvi Shah
executive manager: Bharathi Arasan
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.