Student nonprofit develops business globally
A new type of group is on campus this year called Square One, which in prior years, was one of many projects under the wing of Enactus. This year Square One is an independant partner group of Enactus, whose goal is to use students to create lasting business ventures in the developing world.
Enactus is a business-orientated club on campus that helps students launch ideas on campus and commit to using this entrepreneurial focus on campus to better the lives of people and create a more sustainable world.
Senior Andrew Mueller, president of Enactus and also an E-Scholar is changing Square One into an independent lasting venture to ensure that the Square One project will be sustained on campus for years to come.
“This year Square One will be a much bigger project that last year, we are trying to turn it into an actual long term student organization” Mueller said.
This organization has students travel out of the country to launch new businesses that will help further the development of towns in developing worlds.
Two years ago, a group of students in Square One traveled to Uganda to build a chicken coop, a year later another group of students returned to Uganda and built a piggery. These businesses were started to help the town’s source of income, as well as to sustain the salaries of teachers at local schools.
“This group will expand to new locations and will be long lasting. Having students work on a project year round, and ensure that the mission of Square One stays consistent from year to year, although each project will be a little different,” Mueller said.
This year, another group of students will be leaving after Christmas to travel to Nairobi, Kenya for a week and a half. They will evaluate the culture and city to see what Square One can offer to help.
“There are various programs that are helping people in Kenya, but our main focus is to help the children of Kenya, always keeping the underlying aspect of education in mind,” Mueller said.
Afterwards, the students will be traveling back to Uganda to evaluate how the two businesses’ that were started from previous years are sustaining.
This is all a part of the three-step process Square One has developed for its program: the discovery phase, the implementation phase and the reevaluation phase.
This year, only the discovery phase and the reevaluation phase are taking place.
“The discovery phase sends students to a location to determine a need. They look at pressing issues, and how we can solve them, instead of coming in with a project that may not be needed” Mueller said.
This is what students will be doing when they are in Kenya, and when they travel to Uganda they will be performing the third and final step of reevaluation of prior businesses.
“The implementation stage includes actually building the business, which can be a one to two year project,” Mueller said.
Mueller hopes that Square One will be a lasting organization on campus, and looks to extend this group onto different campus’s, taking a small scale group of students and using them to implement a business venture hat will benefit those in need.