Something magical happens when you get together with more than 3,600 of your closest friends
Final Round Results
- National Champion:
Texas State University
- Second Place:
Roberts Wesleyan University
- Third Place:
- Fourth Place:
Ok, perhaps they are not all close friends at the start but by the end of the 2014 Enactus USA National Exposition, it feels like they are. With social networks abuzz with words like “amazing”, “impressive” and “empower”, it was clear that once again the Enactus USA National Exposition was an inspirational event for all in attendance.
Enactus is one of the greatest social movement ever. We are going to empower better lives. #SeeYouInBeijing
— GDad (@AldridgeSkip) April 3, 2014
— Beatriz Rodriguez (@buildyourdoor) April 2, 2014
This year’s event was presented by The Hershey Company, with event hosts the BIC Corporation, Bimbo Bakeries USA, The Coca Cola Company, The Home Depot, and The Schwan Food Company. In total, more than 3,600 students, faculty and business leaders from across the country made the trip to Cincinnati to showcase and celebrate how our students in the US are transforming lives and enabling progress through entrepreneurial action.
The 2014 National Exposition marked the first time that all Enactus United States teams were invited to compete at the national level. The competition began with the Opening round, followed by Quarter, Semi and Final rounds. A new competition element was also added this year—the Consolation Round—where teams not advancing from the opening round had the chance to present a second time and receive direct feedback from veteran judges about the strengths of their program and areas where they can improve their impact in future years.
In the end, the teams from Belmont University, Heritage University, Roberts Wesleyan University, and Texas State University advanced to the Final Round of Competition. From the main ceremony stage at the Duke Energy Convention Center, with the full audience watching, each of these teams presented an incredible set of community empowerment projects to top executives serving as judges.
The team from Texas State University came out on top, wowing the judges with their outreach initiatives that included Project Job Help, a skills training program that helps employed and underemployed participants adapt to changing industries, including a special focus on veterans. Through job training modules delivered by the students, the team reached over 5,000,000 people and helped 200 individuals find employment. With the win, they have earned the right to represent the United States at the Enactus World cup, taking place in Beijing, China this fall.
Speaking of judges, the caliber of executives who gave their time to evaluate the teams’ work and offer their feedback was nothing short of impressive. In total, 850 business leaders attended the event, including Mike Moore, Chairman of the Enactus United States National Advisory Board, and President of Walmart Central; Denise Morrison, President & CEO of Campbell Soup Company; and Dimitrios Smyrnios, CEO of The Schwan Food Company, just to name a few.
In addition to serving as judges, a number of top business leaders spoke directly to delegates during the award ceremonies including J.P. Bilbery, Chairman of the Enactus Worldwide Board of Directors, and President and CEO of The Hershey Company; and Chris Mills, President of North America Consumer Products, BIC.
“I often say that participating in an Enactus event is like getting oxygen, you can’t help but feel the energy in this room and come away from this event feeling both inspired and invigorated.” J.P. Bilbrey
“Students, please know you are an inspiration to all of us through your drive for success and the impactful use of your talent, your vision, passion and energy, paired with the power of Enactus you are transforming live impacting communities and creating a more sustainable world.” Chris Mills
Ted Rich, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience of Rich Products Corporation had the crowd laughing as he talked about the ‘self-loathing’ he feels at an Enactus event, thanks to the list of things he couldn’t have done as a student that Enactus students do flawlessly. He also shared a powerful message about the stories he hears when he attends an Enactus event – the stories of the students, of the people reached through the outreach initiatives, and of the executives involved – and asked the students what the story will be like by the time they are done: “We are looking forward to learning the answer” he concluded. And thanks to Liberty Mutual Insurance, the audience also had the unique opportunity to hear from Steve Mesler, 2010 Olympic Gold medalist in 4-man bobsled as he shared his story and offered his thoughts on what it means to be a community leader.
As the first event of the Enactus National Competition season, the United States competition provided the spark for the fire of enthusiasm that will soon spread across the globe as the journey continues on the road to Beijing, China for Enactus World Cup 2014. We are all excited to see what will happen next.
Miss the competition or want to relive the experience? Check out the Enactus USA National Champion flashback:
Amazing day spent judging at National ENACTUS competition today! Feeling good about the future of the USA if it's in these students hands
— Paige Durkee (@paigephr) April 3, 2014
— Sarah Smith (@_rahhrahh) April 11, 2014