I recently spoke to Katlyn Twomey, the Vice President of Communications for Enactus, to discuss her club’s business practices and their constant drive towards innovation.
A quick overview of Enactus: with a budget of approximately $1,600.00, Enactus is an international, non-profit organization that brings together students, academics, and business leaders who are “committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.” Twomey continued to explain the breakdown of the club, telling me “[their] team has 4 projects: Salute to Service, which helps veterans with their transition to civilian life with our annual career fair; Money Matters, which is trying to better the level of financial literacy in Rhode Island by running program at middle schools and boys and girls clubs; Sustain Us, which is raising awareness on sustainable practices; Bryant Zhuhai, which is working with our campus in China to form an organization in China so that we can collaborate on relevant international projects.” Certainly they keep themselves busy over at Enactus.
I then asked Twomey to discuss how her organization generates revenue; she detailed three specific processes. “The first two ways are through the national Enactus organization,” Twomey stated. “For certain projects we can apply for grants from corporations who sponsor Enactus projects.” The club also competes at regional and national competitions each year, “presenting a 17 minute presentation in front of CEO/CFOs of Fortune 500 companies.” Enactus succeeds at these events, placing in the quarterfinal round and receiving prize money each time in the last three years. Finally, the organization also fundraises through alumni.
Twomey discussed the clubs major expenses, focusing on travel to and from competitions. “Our regional competition is in D.C,” she told me, “and our national competition will be in Kansas City this year.” Other things the club spends their funds on are start-up capital for projects, events, and promotional items for club meetings.
Bryant University prides itself on being an innovative campus—the AIC is named after the ideal. Ergo, it is imperative that the community pursues this model. I pressed Twomey on Enactus’s role in the innovative landscape of Bryant University. She informed me that the “club is innovative because it combines community service with project management skills. It takes what Bryant students learn in the classroom and applies it to real life. We don’t just give someone a fish; we teach them how to fish so they will never be hungry again.” Clichés aside, Enactus is truly an organization that “gives students the chance to pursue a unique idea and get the support they need to make it successful.” Its structure as a business on campus is clearly focused on social good, rather than profit, making it a strong model for other clubs to follow.