Enactus Teams Drive Business Innovation To Create Positive Impact
The Enactus 2019 World Water Race showcases student teams of next generation leaders who are founding social innovation projects to tackle water and sanitation issues. The competition culminates at the Enactus World Cup in San Jose Septemer 16-18 when teams compete on the strength of their businesses before an audience of executive leaders from Unilever, KPMG, Ford and The Coca Cola Company.
Challenges related to water and sanitation make headlines every day due to lack of accessible, potable water for approximately 785 million people and lack of basic sanitation facilities for 2 billion people around the world, according to the World Health Organization. These are precisely the type of challenges Enactus students are tackling through innovation and social entreprenuership.
While students take the stage to present their work during the Enactus World Cup, the true impact continues to be created in communities around the world through ongoing projects:
- Working in an area where rainwater is available, yet clean drinking water is not, Enactus students from Federal University of Pará in Brazil created a low-cost rainwater harvesting tool from reused food industry waste. The business then trains and employs at-risk youth to build and sell the rainwater systems through a digital application. To further impact, low-income families receive a donated system for every 5 systems sold.
- The Enactus team from Praiseworthy Autonomous University of Puebla (BUAP) in Mexico, generated sustainable, high-quality biotechnologies for sanitation and free access to water. Thus far, the business has directly and indirectly impacted roughly 6,400 individuals while also recycling or safely reusing 200,000 liters of water per day.
- The Enactus team at Shri Ram College of Commerce in India is creating access to safe drinking water to residents in rural and urban slums at a fraction of the price previously paid for drinking water. The team is partnering with a local NGO to select and train entrepreneurs to reach even more communities. Additionally, the team is running a public campaign with comic books and localized educational and health checkup camps to spread awareness about healthy sanitary practices.
- Enactus students at Goethe-University Frankfurt in Germany are improving access to clean drinking water in Nepal. More than 2.3 million Nepalese citizens do not have access to clean water. With high arsenic content, accessible water in the region can be especially hazardous as arsenic poisoning can result in heart disease and cancer. Alongside their technological partner, Autarcon GmbH, the Enactus team is building a self-sustaining water center in a Nepalese village in the district Newalparasi; the store-type center is projected to supply around 4,000 people with clean water every day. The water center, run by a female entrepreneuer, combines a high-tech water filter with a new approach; the center sells water to the population for an affordable price, yet covers the operating costs and creates a profit that will be reinvested to further establish the business.
Sponsored by Dell, FAMAE and XPV Water Partners, the Enactus World Water Race champions will be named on September 17 and have the opportunity to receive up to $120,000 USD in funding to support project growth and impact.
“At Enactus, we believe investing in students who take entrepreneurial action for others creates positive impact and a better world,” said Rachael Jarosh, Enactus president and CEO. “Our World Water Race teams are innovating to address water scarcity and sanitation challenges in communities around the world. By tapping into this next generation of leaders and Enactus’ global network, we believe that real solutions will surface to create measurable progress and a sustainable, positive impact.”
Since the World Water Race launched in 2017, Enactus teams have directly impacted 899,068 and indirectly impacted 3.5M. The race has resulted in the founding of 500+ businesses, the creation of 1,825+ jobs and nearly $715,000 USD in new revenue streams while creating access to new/improved access to products/services that improve sanitation for 861,770 people and new/improved access to safe and affordable drinking water for 449,407 people. This year, 125 teams from 22 countries entered projects in the Water Race.
The collective impact that these top World Water Race projects, and nearly 200 others, are helping to address the 2.4 billion people who lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines, according to the United Nations Development Programme and World Health Organization. Every day, nearly 1,000 children die of a preventable water-related disease. Around 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated. Enactus teams worldwide are seeking to solve these challenges by launching entrepreneurial solutions.