Over three days, fourteen universities from across Australia competed at the Enactus National Competition. Hosted at the Sofitel Hotel in Sydney, each university vied for the chance to represent Australia at the Enactus World Cup in Toronto, Canada later this year.
Each university presented the projects they completed on social entrepreneurship throughout the previous year, bringing attention to key issues throughout Australian society and how they were affecting social change.
Eleven members from Enactus QUT attended the competition; three incredible presenters, eight support staff and the amazing Marvin Fox as Faculty Advisor. It was the culmination of not only weeks of competition preparation, but of the projects Enactus QUT had completed throughout 2016.
Enactus QUT presented our two key projects, Taste of Brisbane and Many Ways Forward. Taste of Brisbane, Enactus QUT’s newest project, aims to bridge the gap between culturally significant refugee suburbs and the broader Brisbane community. Taste of Brisbane was established by Enactus QUT to connect refugee run restaurants with Brisbane’s food culture, to exchange stories, experiences and to build lasting relationships. Food is more than just a basic human need, it transcends cultural barriers and brings people together. With two existing restaurants and another coming on board, Enactus QUT is excited about the potential that this project possesses, and looks forward to expanding it over the next year.
Many Ways Forwards is our continuing project, aiming to provide education and a helping hand to the vulnerable members of our community. The project has two exciting community partners, Communify and the Multicultural Development Association (MDA), with whom we are aiming to substantially increase our impact in the Brisbane community.
The competition kicked off on Tuesday with registration and an opening ceremony at the Sofitel. For the presenters it was a chance to go through the script, practice Q&A and make final changes to the presentation. For the support team that wasn’t assisting the presenters, they had the choice of attending a career workshop or spending some free time exploring Sydney.
Before we knew it Wednesday had arrived and we were about to present in the opening round. The first round saw four groups of three teams present, with two from each progressing to the semi-final.
After having lunch provided by the competition at Sofitel, it was announced they we had progressed to the semi-finals on Thursday morning and were awarded the ‘Spirit of Enactus’ award. With the rest of Wednesday free we went over the presentation before going out for a team dinner at Vapianos.
Thursday 10:55 was our presentation in the semi-finals, presenting in front of a 28 judge panel with judges from EY, KPMG, Microsoft, Commonwealth Bank and many other leading organisations. With two from four teams going forward the competition was fierce, and there were some truly inspiring projects having great impact across not only Australia, but international communities.
After lunch the teams for the grand final was announced with QUT, Edith Cowan University, the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales proceeding. It was a tough competition, with each team presenting strong projects and there were some truly impressive presentations. Ultimately Edith Cowan won the competition and will be attending the world cup in Toronto later this year. With the competition formally over it was time for drinks, tapas and the after party.
Enactus QUT is looking forward to continuing our projects and more throughout the upcoming year, and we are determined to win next year’s competition and attend the 2017 World Cup Competition in London. If you are interested in joining Enactus QUT and helping fix the social issues throughout Australia, then we would be so excited to have you join our team. If this sounds like something that interests you, or you just want to learn a bit more, check out our Facebook page or website.