Students with an interest in entrepreneurship and an active social conscience have come together to make a difference in the community.

Olinda Diaz Del Valle, Alejandra Villanueva, Lourdes Pastrana, and Oriana Cordido, along with a group of students from the University of New Brunswick, make up the Fredericton branch of Enactus—a global non-profit organization focused on advancing Canada’s economic, social, and environmental health.

The group, which was established in February of 2016, has undertaken three causes: AutismWorks, a project that allows them to offer help to an entrepreneur on the autism spectrum with his business, OneDeed, an initiative geared to combat homelessness, and CompostU, an action plan aimed at reducing waste in Fredericton.

“We focus on creating social impact, while helping the community and promoting entrepreneurship,” Pastrana said. “We try to have different projects that target the community’s main problems.”

Despite being only a year old, the Fredericton Enactus group has already found success. They were recently awarded second runner-up in the Scotiabank Ecoliving Green Challenge for CompostU at the Enactus Regionals in Halifax, NS.

Cordido, the group’s president, said the regional competition was an important stepping stone for the Fredericton branch.

“Fourteen universities from Atlantic Canada participated, and it was an amazing experience for us because it was our first time going,” she said. “We never thought we would win a prize since we were competing with more experienced universities.”

Enactus has been a good fit for students at St. Thomas University, and Cordido said there are many parallels between what she learns in class and the hands-on work of the group.

“STU teaches you to be an active part of your community and to make a difference,” she said. “This helps put the skills from class into the projects we’re doing.”

As part of the award-winning CompostU initiative, the Fredericton Enactus group is hosting the Spring Up! event that aims to tidy the city’s river front, along with the main parts of downtown, to welcome the spring season in a clean way. The event will take place April 8 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and the teams that collect the most waste will receive prizes.

Get Involved. Join Enactus for 2017
For more information or to get involved in Enactus, e-mail enactus.fredericton@gmail.com or join the group on Facebook.