As College of Charleston students, we take great pride in our city and our basketball team, but what we often forget how many other successful organizations we have on campus. One of our most successful groups is ENACTUS (Entrepreneurs in Action – US). Last spring the CofC ENACTUS team earned top honors at the National Exposition for the year-long projects they presented to a panel of executive board members, teachers, community leaders and CEOs.
Here at the college, athletes play sports, language majors study abroad and art majors participate in gallery openings, but what do business majors do? They created an ENACTUS branch, a branch of the larger national ENACTUS Corporation, to create opportunities for themselves beyond interning in business. More than just a networking opportunity, ENACTUS is a chance for students to “strive to create projects that not only will empower those belonging to various backgrounds, but also projects that help to preserve the culture and history [of Charleston],” according to ENACTUS member Kesha Rainey. With well over 50 members now, ENACTUS counts more than just business majors. They have grown to incorporate students from all departments in effort to create truly effective projects that have forever changed the Charleston community. When asked about why the group was diversified to include all types of students with all types of interests Kesha Rainey responded that, “Many of us belong to several organizations outside of ENACTUS and we use the experiences we have within other organizations to better our organization and expand.”
Their projects range from finding ways to give equal opportunities to students, to recycling, to empowering women. To list a few:
- The James Island Connector Run, a fundraiser between CofC, Charleston Southern and the Citadel, designed to help students with disabilities get a higher education
- The Low Country Goes Green, a sustainability-through-oyster-recycling project that uses oyster reefs as water filters in the Charleston Harbor. The presenting team won 3rd place in the sustainability category for this at the National Expo.
- CUBE-small coffee shop in the lobby of Beatty. Students are responsible for everything from A to Z whether its employee management, tax inventory or running day to day affairs.
- Lemon*Aid Stand works with underprivileged children by teaching them entrepreneurial skills while selling lemonade on campus.
- Kick it Forward, which assists local communities in Cameroon, Africa by educating them on the importance of hygiene and giving women entrepreneurial opportunities (micro-loans).
Not only does ENACTUS change the lives of the targeted communities, it changes the lives of those involved. When asked whether being a part of ENACTUS would help their futures both Kesha Rainey and Stephanie Schnabel answered yes without hesitation. Stephanie believes it “gives you a perspective on ‘the real world’ that most of academia does not prepare you for. I am learning how to work with the resources around me, and find opportunity.” Kesha Rainey added, “Aside from the professional benefits, I know that I belong to a family that does not end upon our graduation and [I have gained] the mindset that our greatest obligation is not to ourselves but to the community that we live in.”
ENACTUS is an on-campus organization that truly makes a change. Stephanie Schnabel, also a member of last year’s presentation team proudly boasts of ENACTUS’s success: “We DO a lot. ENACTUS is about results.” All students involved in ENACTUS, despite myriad of interests and goals, can agree on one thing: it’s the people involved that make this organization so efficient and inspiring. Stefanie Schnabel states that her favorite part of being involved with ENACTUS is specifically those involved with it. She says,“I love the people. They are goal oriented, mature people.” So beyond business majors, this is call to all students at the College of Charleston: ENACTUS is ready and waiting.