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Enactus MHC recognized as Global Best

January 4, 2019

Enactus MHC had another awarding winning year in 2018, thanks to their work with youth and entrepreneurship in the community.

As part of an international network of post-secondary students, Enactus MHC is committed to improving lives through entrepreneurship. Originally launched by business students in 2013, MHC was the first Alberta college to have an Enactus organization, which has grown to include 40 students from education, paramedic, social work, nursing, and visual communications programs.

With support from Community Futures of Southeast Alberta, RBC, and Canadian Tire, Enactus MHC continues its focus on two community partnerships. The Young Entrepreneur Program (YEP!) brings Enactus members into local elementary and junior high classrooms and teaches students about the value of entrepreneurship. YEP! was originally developed to break the downward cycle of poverty in lower socio-economic segments of Medicine Hat and since has expanded to numerous schools in the region.

“We’re proud of our partnerships with all three school districts – Medicine Hat School District No. 76, Catholic Board of Education, and Prairie Rose School Division. They are great supporters of Enactus,” says Darren Howes, faculty advisor for the organization. The second project, My Generation, was inspired by a local youth to address the declining population of the little brown bat due to White Nose Syndrome and wind turbines.

The project engages REDI, a local non-profit organization, to build the bat boxes and provides a valuable work opportunity for their clients.

“With My Generation, we’re trying to increase its scope across the country,” explains Howes. “We want to replicate the project with local organizations, particularly in Eastern Canada, where the bat population is really suffering.”

Over the years, these projects have garnered international attention outside of the Enactus network. For the second time in three years, Enactus MHC was the recipient of International Partnership Network Global Best Awards. REDI also nominated Enactus as an employer of choice for persons with disabilities.

2018 Global Best Awards

Photo: Enactus MHC receives two Global Best Awards at the International Partnership Network Conference held at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Enactus MHC Jordan Pomerenke (second from left) and faculty advisor Darren Howes (second from right) with representatives from the Space Center, REDI, and the International Partnership Network.

Howes and Enactus MHC president, Jordan Pomerenke, attended the 2018 International Partnership Network Conference in Houston, Texas during the fall semester to receive two awards – one for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Skills and one for Innovative Partnerships. This bi-annual event celebrates outstanding and effective business, education and organizational partnerships that make an impact on the communities in which they operate. Award recipients are invited to present their winning projects so the MHC team participated in a series of round tables and panel discussions with organizations from around the world, including government officials from Australia, South Africa and Finland.

“Having the opportunity to present at a professional conference is a remarkable experience for our students,” says Howes, who also accompanied Enactus MHC to the Global Best Awards in Oslo, Norway in 2016.

Pomerenke, a fourth year Bachelor of Business Administration student, has been involved with Enactus for three years and was grateful for the chance to share their work on an international stage.

“It was awesome to attend the conference and represent MHC and Enactus. When we shared about My Generation, people were amazed that a six year old had developed the project. The panel discussion about YEP! also started good conversations and had positive audience interactions,” Pomerenke explains.

“We were encouraged to see we’re on the right track and accomplishing similar goals of other organizations with much less. There is a drive within our organization to see these projects grow and impact more people.”

Next for Enactus is a project to improve the employability of youth at the high school level. Starting in February, Enactus members will connect YEP! with students at Medicine Hat High School to combine artistic talent and entrepreneurship. The group plans to bring in a local artist and branding expert and work with students to create and market their art in the community.

“Enactus is an amazing organization that empowers people,” says Pomerenke. “It’s about doing something great than yourself.” Want to engage with the power of Enactus MHC? Community partnerships are the key to success. Contact Darren Howes with your project suggestions or support.

Want to engage with the power of Enactus MHC? Community partnerships are the key to success. Contact Darren Howes with your project suggestions or support.