Enactus Competition Fuels Entrepreneurship on College Campuses


Global Entrepreneurship is on the rise fueled in part by a worldwide community of Colleges’ and Universities’ efforts called Enactus whose mission is “Progress through Entrepreneurial Action.” The acronym is derived from Entrepreneurial Action and Us. The global non-profit organization was founded in the US in 1975, and now engages 66,500 students from 1,600 colleges and universities in 36 countries.

In the United States alone, there are 518 colleges and universities with 17,294 students participating in the program.  The Enactus community is made up of students, as well as academic and business leaders. By using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living, they are transforming lives and helping build a better and more sustainable world.

Each participating school forms a team and develops several community projects that are presented at competition events judged to be worthy of fulfilling the Enactus mission.  The winning teams compete annually for a national title and then go on to compete in a “World Cup” for an international title. At each level of competition, financial awards and prizes provided by corporate sponsors add to the competitive spirit.

The projects that are chosen and presented in the competition must satisfy some key objectives in order to win.

  • Impact of the project on the target audience with both a financial and quality of life improvement.

  • Sustainability of the project to continue to serve its original purpose.

  • Identify stakeholders who will commit to supporting the project and its action.

Each of the student participants gains experience by applying the core values of Imagination, Courage, Determination, Partnership, Accountability and Curiosity, which strengthens their own entrepreneurial skills and desire.

Under the leadership of Dr. Emmanuel Hernandez and its volunteer advisory board, Gulf Coast State College formed its first Enactus team in academic year 2013-2014 with just 11 participants. They competed Spring 2014 in Cincinnati Ohio nationally.  On its first attempt, the team garnered two very coveted trophies with its projects while competing with over 200 universities and colleges with teams that were much larger and experienced.  This year the team has grown to 24 members and 5 projects and will take part in the competition in April 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.

The benefits to the Enactus team at GCSC were more than just returning with the awards.  Each of the students came to realize how the smallest effort can change lives in their community and the world. This empowerment has given each of them a desire and the confidence that only an entrepreneurial experience such as Enactus can provide.


Mike Ross
Entrepreneur-in-Residence, SBDC at GCSC
President at 4PSA – CLOUD CALLING – Cloud OnDemand – Virtual Phone Systems – Hosted UC, Orlando, Florida Area

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