April 17, 2020Print | PDF
Four Laurier student-run ventures shone at the Enactus Canada Regional Exposition in March, where teams from colleges and universities across central Canada presented their community outreach projects and business ventures to a panel of judges from the business community.
Three Enactus Laurier enterprises, EarthSuds, Mighty Hawks and Last20, will go on to compete at the national level in May.
EarthSuds, which produces single-use shampoo, conditioner and body wash tablets to reduce waste from plastic toiletry bottles, was named a champion in both the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge and the Scotiabank Climate Change Challenge, aimed at supporting solutions to environmental issues in Canada. EarthSuds successfully launched its e-commerce platform in the fall of 2019 and its products have also been picked up by more than 30 retailers and wholesalers, leading to the diversion of thousands of plastic toiletry bottles from landfills.
Last20, which looks for innovative and sustainable ways to upcycle plastic waste, competed together with EarthSuds to win in the Scotiabank Climate Change Challenge. The company has upcycled thousands of plastic bottles and sells sustainable shirts, each made with six discarded plastic bottles. Last20 is currently working with researchers to develop a way to replace some of the bitumen in pavement with waste plastic bags. The resulting product is not only sustainable, but more water-resistant, stable and cost-effective than conventional materials.
Mighty Hawks, which supports individuals with developmental disabilities become more financially independent, was named a champion in the Central Western Bank Financial Education Challenge, which encourages students to identify, create and deliver projects that address financial literacy needs in their communities and beyond. Mighty Hawks delivers weekly workshops designed to help develop financial and work-related skills, such as learning to budget and building a resume, and has created a Work Readiness Program for participants to gain on the job experience, many of them through Earth Suds.
Another student-run Enactus enterprise, PolliNation, was runner-up in the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge. Pollination aims to support elementary school students who want to make a positive change in the world. The team has developed a curriculum called Bee Leaders of Tomorrow aimed at inspiring future change-makers. They visit local schools to teach about change-making and use their own pollinator kit, complete with a bee hotel that is designed, built and sold by the Pollination team, as an example.
Laurier will be represented by the three challenge champions at the Enactus National Exposition in May, along with a national team, which will present all the Enactus Laurier ventures for a shot at the Enactus Canada National title. Laurier will also be represented in the Student Entrepreneur National Competition, presented by HSBC Bank, by recent Business Administration graduate Blair Forrest. Forrest is the owner of AMZ Prep Canada Ltd., which helps businesses sell their products on Amazon’s marketplace and provides warehousing space and infrastructure. Forrest was named one of 12 finalists who will compete in May to become Student Entrepreneur National Champion, an honour that includes a $10,000 prize.
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