Oshawa’s Durham College national finalist in entrepreneur challenge

Published March 13, 2023 at 11:08 am

From empowering female entrepreneurs, to bettering the livelihoods of farmers university and college students are driving measurable change across Canadian communities.

Students from five Ontario universities and colleges – including Durham College – presented their community-based projects at the Enactus Canada Regional Exposition, which took place March 9-10 in Mississauga.

“The Enactus Canada Regional Exposition recognizes and celebrates the social innovation our next-gen leaders from Central Canada are using to advance the social, economic and environmental health of Canada,” says Allyson Hewitt, President and CEO of Enactus Canada, a national charity and this country’s largest experiential learning platform for post-secondary students. “This is the first in-person regional exposition we’ve hosted in Mississauga in over two years and Enactus students didn’t disappoint – they continue to inspire and motivate us, scaling the impact of their projects year over year.”

Two-team based competitions took place at the two-day event, with the student teams presenting the impact of their projects to panels of business executives serving as judges. Durham College was one of three regional champions in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge, a national competition empowering post-secondary students to deliver projects that teach entrepreneurial skills to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. Since its beginnings in 2007 the initiative has delivered more than 2,500 entrepreneurship projects and kick-started some 4,500 business, directly impacting the lives of more than 23,000 entrepreneurs.

  • The Enactus team from Durham Collegestarted Project Founders Drive, which helps student entrepreneurs realize their dreams in operating a successful start-up through a series of podcasts and business opportunities. The team created 18 jobs, helped young people start seven businesses, and exposed 780 people to entrepreneurship through collaborations with RBC Future Launch, Cooperative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada, and the Venture Development Institute.
  • Toronto Metropolitan Universitystudents created The Shepreneur Project – an international female entrepreneurship bootcamp that helps address the needs of vulnerable women who are often overlooked as successful entrepreneurs. The bootcamp teaches the basics of entrepreneurship including financial literacy, customer acquisition, marketing, and more! In 2022, the team helped start 35 businesses, exposed 200 people to entrepreneurship, and helped 67 entrepreneurs better their business.
  • Enactus Fleming Collegecreated Paddy Waste to Income to help farmers in Punjab and Uttarakhand, India turn rice paddy waste into opportunity. Once traditionally burned (resulting in air pollution and GHG emissions), this paddy waste is turned into feed for cattle, protecting crops, and providing bedding in dairy farms. This year alone, Enactus Fleming College has helped 21 entrepreneurs repurpose waste.

The Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge empowers post-secondary students to teach and empower others to take action to tackle climate change and its impacts. The three regional champions from this competition came from Fleming College, Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Ottawa.

All Regional Champions will now move on to compete in the national finals May 1-3 at the 2023 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Montreal.


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