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Student group recognized for entrepreneur projects

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Posted: 
April 12, 2013

A Georgia College student organization ranked among the top in the Southeast for entrepreneurial community outreach projects.

Enactus members were named first runners-up in their league at the Enactus United States Regional Competition in Atlanta. 

“This was the first time we competed,” said Orchid Jackson, who is currently working on her Master of Business Administration degree and is also the secretary of Georgia College Enactus. “It was really special to win because we all have worked really hard.”

Orchid Jackson, Anna Lopez-Ratouis, Katie McGuire and James Gardner show off their award from the Enactus Regional Competition.Orchid Jackson, Anna Lopez-Ratouis, Katie McGuire and James Gardner show off their award from the Enactus Regional Competition.They presented their work with three projects: selling imported shoes from Peru; selling organic herbs, “SupHerb’s,” at the local farmers market; and a fundraising effort in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’s birthday. 

“This was one of the proudest moments of my college career,” said Anna Lopez-Ratouis, junior mass communications major and public relations chair of the group. “Winning the award showed me that we have a solid team and that hopefully we can continue to compete in the future.”

Enactus is an international nonprofit organization that brings together academics, students and business leaders for entrepreneurial projects that improve the lives of people in need.

“Working on these projects taught me that you can reach out to the community through business,” said James Gardner, senior environmental science major and vice president of Georgia College Enactus. “I had always looked at business solely as a way to make money, but attending this conference showed me that there are tons of people out there who are looking to not only make money, but positively impact the community.”

The students competed against nearly 1,000 students from colleges and universities across the Southeast, some that were much larger than Georgia College. Several of those groups have also had their projects in place for several years.

“At many schools, Enactus is a class where students must participate for a grade,” said Dr. Renée Fontenot, associate professor of marketing. “All 10 of our students have volunteered with the projects. The SupHerb’s has been an ongoing entrepreneurial project that was started in 2009.  New projects initiated by the students this year were the shoes and the Dr. Seuss Festival. Each project resonated across one or more of the evaluation criteria used in the competition: sustainability, environmental consciousness, social entrepreneurship and community impact. The fact that they brought home an award at their first competition shows their dedication.” 

The students were also able to participate in a career fair while at the conference.

“It was a great opportunity to network with executives and learn from other students and business leaders,” said Katie McGuire, senior management major and president of the club. 

Enactus operates in 39 countries and its members have contributed to more than 6,500 community outreach projects. 

For more information on Enactus, visit enactus.org.

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ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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