Students representing DCU were crowned champions at the Enactus National Competition which took place in Chartered Accountants House in Dublin on Friday.
The competition, presented by Irish writer and activist Sinéad Burke, saw colleges from 10 third level institutions across the country compete for the title. The winning team will go on to the Enactus World cup in Silicon Valley in October this year
DCU presented the impacts of eight projects, which seek to help asylum seekers to overcome barriers to employment by teaching them sales and event organising skills.
“The energy from the students is contagious and this year again. We are very excited for Enactus DCU to represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup,” Terence O’Rourke, Enactus Chairman said.
Their headline project, Second Scoop, is a catering company which gives asylum seekers an emphasis on social integration through mentorship and work experience.
The team also presented Threads, their second headline project which is a clothing company. Its focus is also on the asylum seeking community, by providing them with the skills and opportunities to upcycle and unwanted jeans. Asylum seekers are taught how to work with denim on how to sew through workshops.
“With World Competition only around the corner, we have an intense few months coming up. With the support of our University, Enactus Ireland and sponsors, we are determined to have a greater impact on society by growing and scaling our projects,” Thomas Hand, Chairperson for Enactus DCU, said.
Robert Kelly, who is the Sponsorship Officer with Enactus DCU, and responsible for Project Leadership of Threads said that the team “could not be more honoured” to represent the university this year.
“The team at Enactus DCU and I are absolutely blown away by the other colleges at the national competition this year. It was evident how much work was put in by every single Enactus student there,” he said.
Enactus Ireland is one of 36 country organisations around the world that operates an Enactus programme, which aims to bring together students, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to solve community challenges.
Havas, a social marketing company based in Dublin, is one of the companies that provide sponsorship and mentoring to the Enactus programme.
“As a sponsor of Enactus, I also undertake a role as a mentor to the participating teams. I see my role in giving topline guidance to the student teams, helping mould their skills to allow them to deal with the real-life business challenges. I am delighted to work with Enactus to help mentor and mould the next generation of social entrepreneurs of Ireland,” Bob Coggins, manager of the company, said.
By Catherine Gallagher
Image credit: Naoise Culhane