CSU, Chico News

Business Students Win Regional Competition Using Entrepreneurial Concepts to Aid Community Groups

Date: 04-22-2013

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

The California State University, Chico Enactus team, formerly called Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), once again has won its regional competition and will compete in the national championships along with 120 other schools May 21-23 in Kansas City.

In the national Enactus program, college students apply business concepts to develop community outreach projects improving the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Enactus is an international nonprofit organization based in Springfield, Mo., with 1,600 university partners in 38 countries.

In 2012, CSU, Chico was first runner-up in the regional SIFE competition held in Dallas. The name change from SIFE to Enactus occurred last year.

CSU, Chico’s team won the SIFE national championship in 1999 and has made 15 appearances at the national competition since 1994.

College of Business professor Ed Meda, faculty adviser, said experience made the difference for CSU, Chico at the regional event, held in Los Angeles April 8. “With better than 50 percent of the same team members, we developed a strategy to win the regional competition, and the team executed it flawlessly,” he said.

The students on the 2013 CSU, Chico Enactus team are Kenji Hagiwara, Martin Cahill Hansen, Hillary Heath, Jeff Huckabay, Sydney MacBain and Marco Poort.

The CSU, Chico team members discussed a number of projects, such as Wise Kid Healthy Kid, the youth entrepreneur camp now 20 years old; assistance for a Chico preschool, including painting, business plan and marketing; Credit Cats, a three-year-old program directed at high school and college students to help them manage their credit; and Music for Music, a local music festival for musicians trying to enter the entertainment industry, with profit from funds generated through ticket sales donated to local music charities.

Former faculty adviser Tom Wilder recalls attending a SIFE event in 2010 when a team adviser from another school received an adviser of the year award. “He had been an adviser for his SIFE team for over 15 years,” Wilder said. “In all of those years, his team had never made it to the national event! That moment opened my eyes at how good our team has been and continues to be. Chico is recognized as a powerhouse at the competitions.”

Because the national competition falls during Finals Week, Meda said faculty will make arrangements so team members can take finals early or when they return.