University of Regina at the Enactus World Cup in Toronto

By Dale Johnson Posted: October 25, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Some of the students taking in a Blue Jays game with Wallace Lockhart (2nd from right) associate professor in the Faculty of Business Administration.
Some of the students taking in a Blue Jays game with Wallace Lockhart (2nd from right) associate professor in the Faculty of Business Administration. Photo courtesy Enactus Regina

More than 3,500 students from 34 countries gathered in Toronto last month – including a team from the University of Regina – to share stories about social enterprise projects, and to dream and scheme about how they might collaborate in future projects.

The students are members of Enactus, a volunteer group that works on community projects and business ventures.
The U of R team hosted the Swaziland team for a social event, and attended a Blue Jays game.

Among the participants from the U of R were Emily Barton, a fourth-year marketing major in the Paul J. Hill School of Business, and Hibba Shahid, a third-year student in environmental systems engineering in the faculty of engineering and applied sciences.

Emily and Hibba share their thoughts about the event in Toronto, other activities with Enactus and what they hope to do in the future.

Please tell us about the Enactus World Cup and how you were involved.

Emily: Enactus World Cup is an annual competition that brings together Enactus teams from 36 countries to compete with their best projects. There is a national competition in each country every year and that team will move on to represent at the World Cup. This year, Enactus Memorial from Memorial University in Newfoundland was our national champion. We were at the competition to cheer on Enactus Memorial and learn from the other amazing teams in attendance.

Hibba: Enactus World Cup recognizes student groups that had the most impactful projects from the 36 participating countries. There are many Enactus groups in each country; only one of them is chosen to represent their country at Worlds. The chosen student groups come to present their projects at Worlds in front of a panel of professional judges. People from all across the world come there to see their country being represented, and it is a great opportunity for the groups presenting to show off their wonderful projects. I was involved by supporting Swaziland, one of the competing teams, and also attending a variety of seminars such as the sustainability seminar.

What are the most surprising and interesting things you learned about Swaziland?

Hibba: Swaziland is a very dedicated group. Even though they do not have as many facilities as some of the other countries, their project was just as impressive. They utilized what they had and made it into something that can be used for many years.

What about the social events, like the Blue Jays game, and other events – for you, and for the guests from Swaziland?

Enactus student Hibba
Hibba Shahid, a third-year student in environmental systems engineering in the faculty of engineering and applied sciences. U of R Photography
Hibba: It was a lot of fun. They are a great group and extremely friendly. The group had an icebreaker game and everyone felt extremely comfortable talking to each other right off the bat. It was a great opportunity to learn about their views and how their country is and what they think about Canada. One of the members in the group said that the first thing he will do when he goes back home will be to apply to study in Canada! So I guess you can say that they really loved their experience here.

Why are you involved with Enactus, and what are some of the other events you've been involved in through Enactus?

Hibba: Enactus is a great opportunity to build upon leadership and presentation skills, which I believe are both valuable assets to succeed in the professional world. Participating in Enactus’ competitions helps an individual explore what is effective when communicating with a variety of people. Enactus has given me these valuable skills and allowed me to enhance my networking skills. Moreover, it is not just about what an individual can gain by joining but how they can give back to the community, which is the prominent reason of why I love what Enactus stands for and is my motivation to give my time to this group.  

Emily: This is my third year with Enactus Regina. I'm involved because of the numerous
Enactus student Emily
Emily Barton, a fourth-year marketing major in the Paul J. Hill School of Business. U of R Photography

opportunities for students to learn and grow. Both of us have been involved in so many things, this could end up being quite a long list. I was a project manager for our Breaking Barriers project for two years, which helps international students find employment in Canada, I was the marketing executive last year, I've volunteered with our Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE) project for two years, I've represented the U of R on Enactus' competition team at two regional competitions and one national. And I am the president of the club this year. Hibba has helped out with our Breaking Barriers project, social team, POE project, presented at the last regional competition, and this year she is our VP of marketing and heads our marketing team.

What were some "dreams and schemes" that you heard about there that you had never really thought about or considered?

Emily: I think it was amazing to see the different projects as the objectives could differ greatly depending on factors like the country's economic state, or political background. For me, an amazing project I saw was from Enactus Nigeria; their team built an entire school in a refugee camp. They built all the furniture from recycled materials, had all the books donated, were able to put hundreds of displaced children back in school, and created jobs within the refugee camp to build the school, and for teachers too.  

How will the experience at the Enactus World Cup change your approach to your studies this year, and – thinking of the big picture now  – how will it change your approach and attitudes to life after you leave the U of R?

Emily: I just always think about how getting involved was the best thing I could’ve done with my time in university. I could’ve just focused on studying and working and left it at that, but getting involved gives you another purpose on campus, you meet so many people, and get to explore so many opportunities.

What's the next step, to follow up on this – and collaborative projects in the works?

Hibba: We just started a new project called the Innovation Challenge, where students will come up with entrepreneurial ideas to help the community and present their ideas in front of a panel of judges. The winning group will see their project be sponsored and made a reality, which I believe is extremely honoring, to see an idea turn into a concrete project.

Emily: We’re working on growing our current projects and bringing in some new ones, we’ve already experienced a lot of growth this year, and I’m excited to see what our team accomplishes. It was really exciting for our team to be able to meet and learn from all these international teams, and see the amazing things that students are able to accomplish. I was really glad to see the team enjoy their experience, and come back ready to work and excited to help Enactus Regina grow.

Related: Enactus student making a difference in the community

Students deliver fresh produce to the Food Bank

Helping veterans run their own business

Student volunteers prepare tax returns