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UL students showcase social entrepreneurship and innovative projects at the Enactus Ireland Competition

UL students recently competed in the Enactus Ireland Competition - a national showcase of social entrepreneurship and innovative projects. Enactus is an international nonprofit organization inspiring students to take entrepreneurial action to create community development projects that improve the livelihoods of socially, economically or educationally disadvantaged individuals and community groups. Enactus run a series of regional and national competitions where students present the social impact of their initiatives. Enactus faculty advisor, Dr Briga Hynes, KBS, UL said: ‘Enactus provides a perfect tool for building relationships between universities and local communities and the example above clearly demonstrate how students undertake a clear and tangible role in promoting our university as valuable member of the community’.

Participation in Enactus provides university students with hugely rewarding personal development experience. Kevin O’Brien, 2nd Year, BBS and French explained that: “There is an immense sense of satisfaction from giving back to people who are less fortunate in society and also it is great to develop team work skills”. Likewise, “Enactus UL is an excellent opportunity to try to build something, fail, and try again, while making an impact on the community. You meet fantastic people and learn skills and things about yourself that no book could ever teach you” said Craig Mc Keown, International Entrepreneurship Masters.


The UL Enactus team pictured with their faculty advisor Dr Briga Hynes, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, KBS, UL - Kayley Shine, BBS with French. James Crotty, Law and Accounting,  Louise Hogan, International Business,  Deirdre O'Connor, BBS, Ian Crowley, BBS with French and Hugh Butler, BBS

 
The UL team partnered with Limerick's Gateway to Education (LGTE) who provide educational supports to primary and secondary students in at-risk families to identify scaling opportunities to expand their much needed services. The students designed and delivered Easter Camps with a theme of Creative, Inclusive, and Fun Learning focusing on the personal development of the child. The students also generated an additional stream of volunteers for LGTE in reaching out to Transition Year Students to deliver the new services.  While the Creative, Inclusive and Fun Learning Camps directly impacted on children who participated, it also positively benefited their parents who indicated they saw their child building confidence and making new friends and the Transition Students who gained valuable work and volunteering experience.
 
Suzanne Roche CEO of LGTE endorsed the positive multiple benefits of the programme providing with an additional revenue stream, the ability to reach out to more disadvantaged children and provide them with a much needed non-academic personal development experience. As a result of the success of the camps this model is being adopted by other Homework Clubs in the region and has potential for transferability nationally as was commented on by one of the Enactus National Competition Judges.  
 
The UL Enactus team reached the final rounds of the Enactus Ireland Competition. Two students and their faculty mentor, Dr Briga Hynes, KBS, UL, received bursaries to participate in the Enactus World Cup Finals in the United Kingdom in September 2017.
 
Enactus Ireland is sponsored by KPMG, Bank of Ireland, Abbott, AIG, CarTrawler, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, KBC Bank, Merc Partners, Musgrave Group, New Ireland Assurance, The Ireland Funds, Unilever, Willis Towers Watson, Havas, HSBC and Microsoft.