Ouachita Baptist University’s Enactus team competed in its annual regional competition earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, and walked away regional champions, advancing to the national competition in May.
“For the regional competition, all of the teams prepare a 17-minute presentation detailing their projects and results for this year,” said Judith Brizuela, a senior business management and psychology major from Honduras and the president of Ouachita’s Enactus team. “This year, our presentation theme was ‘The Story of One,’ so we emphasized the story of one individual in each of our projects and then talked about how we could expand that effort we put in that one individual’s life and replicate on a broader scale.”
The team presented three of its strongest projects at the competition, including work at the Ouachita Store, the Clark County Boys and Girls Club and World Gospel Outreach in Honduras.
“We added a grocery section to the existing campus bookstore,” said Brittney Jones, a junior business finance and management major from Texarkana, Ark., and president-elect of the Enactus team. “We increased the revenue for the bookstore and Ouachita while allowing current students to participate in an internship program to gain valuable real-world retail experience.”
At the Boys and Girls Club, the team taught after-school classes to the students. They also helped the students come up with small businesses they could run to begin saving money for college. In addition, the team began a recycling program for the students.
The team also partnered with World Gospel Outreach in Honduras to help the organization’s orphanage sell more of the coffee in the U.S. The team also designed business classes for local entrepreneurs.
“Our main mission is to empower people through economic, social and environmental factors, and the way Enactus is structured is by designing sustainable projects that will improve people’s quality of life,” Brizuela said.
Other projects the team worked on this year included the start-up of the Pregnancy Resource Center for Southwest Arkansas, the opening of a Christmas store in downtown Arkadelphia and creating a tutoring program at the local high school to benefit the Arkadelphia Promise scholarship program.
They are also working with another orphanage in Honduras to maintain a sponsorship program for the children that the team created last year.
The team also is beginning to work with Partners Against Trafficking Humans and Pitza42 in Conway.
Enactus is a global organization, with 62,000 members in 38 countries. Brizuela said around 200 teams will compete for the title of national champion next month.
“One of those teams will be the national champion, and then compete at the world cup competition in September,” she said.
Senior business finance and management major Justin Trewitt was one of the members of the team that presented the results of the projects.
“I joined Enactus because I wanted to get more involved with the business school,” he said. “I’ve made some of my really good friends through Enactus, and it is a way to work on projects that are much bigger than yourself or even our team. I’ve enjoyed being able to serve my community and getting to know my professors and other students by working on these projects.”
Trewitt also said Enactus has provided him an opportunity to network with business leaders. He said the judges at the competitions work for some of the largest companies in the U.S., and Enactus provides multiple opportunities to interact with those professionals.
Brizuela said the team will begin preparing for national competition right away.
“The way our team does our presentation is by making a video with footage from our projects and then writing a script to go along with the video that our presenters will memorize,” she said. “So we will continue to polish the script; we will also continue to get results from all of our projects.”
For more information, contact Ouachita’s Hickingbotham School of Business at (870) 245-5250.
By Tanner Ward, editor-in-chief of The Signal