Written by Ryan Murchland
Enactus, an international organization that focuses on making a sustainable impact on the community and on respected college campuses around the globe, made its debut on the Georgia Southern University campus this year. As most new organizations and startup companies, the first year was full of ups and downs and was led by two guys who had no idea what Enactus was all about. As a last ditch effort to keep Enactus on campus, these two gentlemen took on roles of president and vice president in an effort to rejuvenate a quickly diminishing organization at Georgia Southern. With no experience in Enactus at all, the goal of reviving and creating an Enactus chapter at Georgia Southern began. Come to find out, Enactus never existed at Georgia Southern and was never recognized by the university as an official organization.
In May 2014, Steven Stewart, PhD and entrepreneurship professor took on the role of being the primary advisor of Enactus. Stewart began meeting with the president at the time, Bryan Flores and vice president, Ryan Murchland. Meeting through the end of the spring semester and periodically throughout the summer, a plan was put in place to schedule the kick-off meeting for the new organization.
The kick-off meeting had a phenomenal turnout with more than 25 students attending the meeting as well as a multitude of people contacting us via email about how to get involved. As most organizations progress, it is common for most students to slowly stop attending meetings and stop contributing towards the club. This was the main goal of the new organization; keep the turnover rate down and keep as many students involved as possible.
As mentioned earlier, we found Enactus never truly existed as an official organization under the university. The constitution and bylaws were outdated and had not been updated since the club was previously known as SIFE, approximately four years prior. With this new information, the first big project presented itself within the organization. The project was make Enactus an official organization, so we would be able to receive funding from the university as well as the College of Business Administration, which would help market the organization to students on campus. After the reconstruction of a new constitution and bylaws, Enactus became an official organization under the university.
Enactus learned that the life of an entrepreneur is full of pivots. Pivoting is defined by Eric Ries as “keeping one foot firmly in place as you shift the other in a new direction.” Between project ideas falling through and the ins and outs of making Enactus an official organization, it was a year full of pivots. The most important part is as pivots began reappearing, each pivot became a little easier to deal with. Enactus began with two projects; one that dealt with the One More Time Campaign and another that dealt with the Red Cross. Each project ended up falling through, and as an organization, Enactus pivoted extremely well off of these.
As a result of pivoting, came some of Enactus’ greatest accomplishments. A member of Enactus, who also volunteered with the Humane Society of Statesboro Bulloch County (HSSBC), put us in contact with the president of HSSBC and since has become partners. HSSBC is a non-profit organization that was financially hurting and in desperate need of help. Enactus, has since then, successfully raised $500 in four months for them. The $500 was enough to help save 4-5 animals from being euthanized, who are now on their way to being put in a loving a caring home where they belong. Enactus has also created a new chapter on campus called Paws N Claws of Southern (PNCoS). This organization was created in an effort to increase awareness about the Humane Society as well as increase the amount of volunteers.
Enactus has progressed this year and has even bigger plans for the future. Due to a small budget and lack of experience, Enactus was unable to compete this year at the regional competition. On the other hand, Enactus is expected to compete at the regional level in 2016, where it is the expectation of all members to place in the top three and move on to a national level competition. Enactus has high hopes for the upcoming year, and we can’t wait to share with you all the accomplishments that are yet to come.