Supporting people with autism, the integration of asylum seekers, environmental challenges and managing food waste among themes of 2020 Cork projects
Enactus Ireland, which is part of the world’s largest platform dedicated to developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators, has announced that the 2020 competition will take place online.
Enactus is a programme that supports third level students to create and implement social entrepreneurial projects, all of which are financially, socially and environmentally sustainable.
Normally a large annual event held in Dublin, due to COVID-19 the competition will now be held online through a mix of pre-recorded and live sessions, with proceedings streamed to the audience via the Enactus Ireland website. 50 of the over 600 Enactus students, from 10 universities and colleges across Ireland, will present.
CIT and UCC both have two projects, and they each must decide whether to present both, or concentrate efforts on their stronger contender.
A.C.E Autism Cooking Education – This project aims to teach children with Autism how to bake goods in order to sell them through a partnership with The Rainbow Club. This gives these children a new outlet and improved life skills.
Project ECO – This is an environmental initiative that creates compost from pizza boxes that is then used in a garden on campus.
Ceangal – Ceangal strives to facilitate the integration of asylum seekers into Irish society by helping them to work on skills for gaining employment. CV and interview workshops are held for the refugees and employers and Refugees are then matched based on their profiles.
Spread the Love – Bowlers Spread the love aims to tackle the pressing issue of food waste and sustainable products in Ireland while empowering at risk homeless youths by providing them with training / mentorship to help them find meaningful employment or start their own business.
Some of the more prominent enterprises from past competitions include FoodCloud the company that has created an innovate solution for food waste which has diverted over 75 million meals from landfill, and Thriftify, a platform which connects charity shops with consumers who care.
Fiona O’Byrne, Country Manager of Enactus Ireland said, “Like many other events and programmes we were faced with a choice to cancel or innovate and try to bring the whole competition online. Naturally, our choice was to bring it online”.
“Considering the current challenges facing Ireland and the nature of the projects, we felt it was extremely important to persevere through this period and give the students the time and platform they deserve”.
“While COVID-19 and health concerns are very topical, the projects this year focus on resourceful ways to address some of the ongoing social issues in Ireland today such as the integration of our asylum seekers, addressing environmental challenges and tackling homelessness”.
“These projects are more important than ever as issues such as homelessness and discrimination have not gone away. As a society, we must continue to tackle these issues, and now due to COVID-19, we will be tackling them with far fewer resources. That is why Organisers are even more inspired by the projects and are really looking forward to the final presentations”.
Devin Toner, Ireland International Rugby Player and Enactus Ireland Board Member, said “I am absolutely delighted to be involved with Enactus and to be supporting the work of this programme. Social innovation has never been so critical, and it is vitally important that we support our students with their innovations now as we will depend on them to come up with new ways to tackle prevalent social issues.”.
“This year’s competition theme is ‘Taking Action’ as we believe this summarises the approach and attitudes being taken by our students at this time. Generally, at this stage, they would be in workshops in their universities working as a team and getting clear hands-on guidance from their tutor. This year they must try and stay motivated and complete their team project working remotely”.
“As we approach the final weeks of the competition, it is clear to see the students are really excelling under the new challenge and we are so proud of that.”
The winner of this year’s contest will go on to compete at the Enactus World Cup, which is due to take place in September.