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Wednesday, 24 May 2017 14:01

Enactus MHC continues to impress, improve

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Amber Kornelson, Mila Joubert, Colton Eremenko, and Ashley Herrmann were on stage presenting at the national Enactus competition in Vancouver. Amber Kornelson, Mila Joubert, Colton Eremenko, and Ashley Herrmann were on stage presenting at the national Enactus competition in Vancouver. Photo contributed

The Medicine Hat College chapter of Enactus, the international entrepreneurial leadership group, proved again their initiatives and abilities are not going unnoticed.

In mid September 2016, the MHC received the Global Best Award for Excellence in Partnership Development at the International Education Business Partnership Conference in Oslo, Norway.
Earlier this month, the Enactus team placed the highest they ever have at the Enactus Canada National Exposition. It’s a business/entrepreneurial competition and showcase which brings Enactus clubs from across Canadian post-secondary institutions.
According to the national Enactus website, the three-day event which began May 9, had students showcase how their community outreach projects and business ventures are enabling progress through entrepreneurial action. Through rounds of live, presentation-based competition, business leaders serving as judges determine which Enactus team and student entrepreneur will be named national champions and represent Canada on the global stage.
Ashley Herrmann, who recently took over as president of the Enactus MHC, was proud to be part of a squad that did so well. For the first time ever, they made it to the finalist round, the furthest they have ever gone.
“Enactus MHC is a very small school, with very little funding compared to (the majority of) schools that we compete against, so to have the honour of making it to the final round was something very exciting for our team,” explains Herrmann. “It means that we have seen substantial growth in projects, and memberships and this allows us to actually have a way to measure our success. Last year we won an Impact Award, and now this year, we moved on to making it to the finalist round and that is so exciting for Enactus MHC.”
A team is not required to win anything at regionals to qualify to present in the general category nationally.
MHC presented on its three main projects: the Young Entrepreneur Program, Project My Generation and Project Thrive. This presentation was 17 minutes in length, with a five-minute question period to follow and they presented in the general category that every team in Canada competes in, where teams present an overview of the past year.
• The Young Entrepreneur Program:  The Enactus team loaned out $10,000 to 200 children across three schools to help students to develop a product and sell it at a trade show. Between the three trade shows there was more than 1,500 community members visited and purchased items. All together YEP students made more than $12,000 revenue and donated a little over $500 to local charities.
• Thrive: Project Thrive empowers people through the creation of art and fostering learning opportunities. With four sessions over four weeks, Enactus MHC held a 10-hour program that taught 15 participants advanced art and business skills. Once the lessons were completed the lessons, artists had the opportunity to sell their art.
“We made this an optional part of the program since we did not want to cause any stress or anxiety for the participants,” Herrmann explains. “Out of the 15n, eight artists submitted art to be sold. We held the art show in conjunction with the annual business networking dinner hosted by Medicine Hat College. The Medicine Hat Food Bank spoke of one participant who had taken what he learned in class, devoted time to building a business plan with the steps laid out in our last session, and has excitedly expressed that he has seen as an increase of sales of $400 in just one month once the program was completed.”
• My Generation: An ongoing project trying to save little brown bats.
All this success should making recruiting new members more easy. They focus on recruitment in the first few weeks of school by speaking at orientation for first-year students as well as attending as many first-year classes to talk about what they are doing at the college and how many amazing opportunities prospective members can gain from being a part of Enactus MHC. Previously, Herrmann said they have focused only on business students, but have now concentrated on visual communications, computer aided drafting and design (CADD), social work — students because at this point, their projects are so diverse. 
“We are open to having any students join us, we are excited to get people excited about what we are doing,” explains Herrmann. “If I know someone with a specific skill set that would fit one of our projects perfectly I usually discuss options and explain the club to them to see if they would be willing to help.”
Herrmann, who is graduating from the business program this year is a good fit for the Enactus president’s role.
Being from a smaller community, Schuler, she understands the importance of community, co-operation and working within limited means. She takes over from Colton Eremenko, who is also from rural southeast Alberta — Acadia Valley — and wants to continue his success. Darren Howes, has remained as a faculty advisor.
Herrmann explains one very important aspect for Enactus teams national is succession planning, and having planned executives to fill positions once the others leave makes the turnover process a bit easier. She says this transition has been planned for three years now, and was not voted on. Herrmann notes the group needs to find a successor for her this coming year to begin mentorship.
“The success of Enactus is all the more impressive considering the size of the school is small and therefore less to draw from with some of the related programs such as business and administration,” says Herrmann. “I do believe that the past president (Eremenko) and myself have been working on a very co-leader role. We both stepped up at the same time to play large rolls in the club so itjust made sense for me to have the ‘president’ role once he graduated as I have one more year left at the college and have just as much experience in leadership of the team as he did.
“I believe that a strong leader is vital and with my outgoing personality, stubbornness, experience on teams, and coaching sports, while being a part of organizations like 4-H, I have the charisma and commitment to help the members of Enactus MHC do some great things this 2017-2018 year.”

Read 5478 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 14:12
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor