Enactus is proud to partner with Ford Motor Company Fund through the Ford C3 Building Sustainable Communities Project Partnership. We are excited to see Enactus teams use entrepreneurial action to create innovative solutions that build sustainable communities. Review project summaries below to learn more about how Enactus teams have partnered with Ford Motor Company Fund to advance the sustainability of their communities.
Cycle Three Projects
Lutheran University of Brazil
The Enactus team from Lutheran University of Brazil will partner with a local church to build mobile, floating vegetable gardens supported by recycled plastic bottles with eight households along the Amazon River. The team named their efforts “Project H₂ORTA,” inspired by the chemistry representation of water, H₂O, and the Portuguese word for vegetable garden, “Horta.” In addition to leveraging recycled materials, Project H₂ORTA will create a system of water treatment and reuse to facilitate irrigation in the vegetable gardens during the river’s dry season. Community members will be trained by the team to manage the eco-friendly gardens and sell the produce in local markets, resulting in a positive impact on the environment and economy.
State University of São Paulo – Faculty of Science and Letters (UNESP Assis)
The Enactus team is working with the Rural Producers Association of Assis, representing 200 family farmers, to advance environmental and agricultural sustainability by constructing a biodigester to produce fertilizer. The fertilizer generated by the biodigester will reduce the chemical fertilizers used by farmers and improve the production and quality of foods while decreasing expenses. The biodigester can also produce bio gas as an alternative energy source and generate carbon credits. In addition to the positive environmental impacts generated, the farmers producing the eco-friendly fertilizer will benefit from selling their product to other farmers for an additional source of income.
UFABC – Federal University of ABC
Partnering with an organization that assists mental health patients and fosters social reintegration, the Enactus team established a cooperative to provide job opportunities by creating and selling products made from recyclable materials. The project’s core products are soaps made with used cooking oil from local restaurants, wood crafts made from waste from construction sites, bags made from discarded banners and plants cultivated from discarded seedlings. The ultimate goal of the project is to address employment and inclusion challenges faced by those with mental illness, empowering clients to learn a new skill set and earn an income while building their confidence.
UFRA – Federal Rural University of Amazon
The Enactus team is partnering with members of a recycling cooperative to improve their livelihoods by advancing the environmental and financial sustainability of their business. After performing a needs assessment, the team discovered that wood pallets are one of the cooperative’s least profitable materials. Typically, wood pallets are given to bakeries for burning in furnaces in exchange for bread. The team’s project creates a new income stream for pallets by training collectors how to transform the wood into furniture and décor. Ultimately, the team envisions the creation of a new business, including an e-commerce site, completely managed by the cooperative members.
The team’s project, reBubble, aims to significantly and sustainably reduce the amount of soap waste produced by hotels. The team will create a self-sustaining enterprise that collects and recycles discarded soap at no cost to the participating hotels while still generating a profit and creating jobs. The project will collaborate with an organization that provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities to generate further employment through the soap recycling process. The clients of the organization benefit from a sense of achievement as they create their products from start to finish and generate their own income.
University of Technology Bergakademie Freiberg
The Enactus team is collaborating with several partners, including a trade association, city management and local businesses to create “FreibergCARD.” This project aims to revitalize local businesses by increasing their visibility through improved marketing and creating a customer loyalty program that rewards customers with points for shopping with any of the participating businesses. These points will then be exchanged for specified goods or services. Ultimately, the team’s project aims to foster customer loyalty, increase sales and improve the livelihoods of business owners in Freiberg.
Catholic University College of Ghana
Working in Sunyani, a regional capital in Ghana, the Enactus team is partnering with the Centre for Social Innovation to revitalize an abandoned public space and bring recreational opportunities to the local community. The team’s project aims to revive the area’s park and gardens, children’s library and recreational center. Through the new space, the team plans to not only host educational opportunities for children, outdoor events, health clubs, and more, but also provide employment and income-generating opportunities for the community.
Valley View University
The Enactus team will implement a water purification project to bring safe drinking water to the rural community of Nsakye. The team plans to construct two new boreholes with a treatment and distribution system while also directing existing stream water into a storage tank for its own purification and distribution. A local water consultancy firm has agreed to help train community members how to operate and maintain the water treatment systems to ensure long-term functioning. Furthermore, the team will also educate farmers on environmentally-friendly agricultural practices to further improve their incomes and the local environment.
University of Eldoret
An estimated 30% of food produced by farmers goes to waste due to inadequate storage. The Enactus team seeks to reduce food waste and protect the income of farmers by designing and building solar powered cold rooms to provide an affordable storage solution. The team’s design includes low cost materials and sensor-based technology that can monitor the storage environment and alert users via SMS to changes in temperature and humidity. Farmers can subscribe to the cold room at daily, weekly or monthly rates, allowing farmers to store their food year-round at an affordable price. The team estimates that the project will breakeven in less than three months, considering costs including construction, supervision, maintenance and cleaning.
University of Nairobi
The Enactus team will partner with local rehabilitation centers that serve “street children”—children who are forced to live and work on the streets. The aim of the project is to create handicrafts, such as wall hangings, handbags, clothes and jewelry, using mostly recycled material that can sell with generous profits to financially support rehabilitation efforts while providing a creative outlet for the participating youth. The team will train caregivers and youth while engaging in mentorship and follow up programs with the youth to provide stability and reduce the risk of the children returning to the streets. Ultimately, the team aims to impact more than 300 youth and provide a financially stable, eco-friendly solution to sustainably support the work of Nairobi’s rehabilitation centers.
Faculty of Technology of Mohammedia
The Enactus team developed a concept to recycle plant-based waste into fire briquettes. This new accelerant will emit less CO2 and will be less expensive compared to wood and coal. The team will utilize readily available green waste such as nutshells, peels and olive pomace to create the briquettes. These briquettes will bring an environmentally-friendly heating source for low-income families in rural areas. The team aims to turn their solution into a social enterprise by hiring unemployed individuals to produce and sell the briquettes while improving their livelihoods.
Higher Instituer of Commerce and Business Administration
The Enactus team at Higher Instituer of Commerce and Business Administration launched their “Imprinted” project to develop a bracelet that utilizes GPS technology to help families monitor their loved ones who have Alzheimer’s and related diseases. This technology will improve the health and safety of individuals with Alzheimer’s by enabling family members to find their location should they wander away on their own. The bracelet is water-resistant and equipped with an alarm that is triggered when the user crosses a specific geographic limit. Linked to a mobile application, the device allows the families to quickly locate their loved ones. Imprinted will also provide training and job opportunities for unemployed individuals who will manufacture the bracelets to support their own livelihoods.
Horticultural Complex of Agadir
The Enactus team saw an opportunity to repurpose horse waste in their area by transforming waste into vermicompost. The team will empower low-income carriage drivers to produce organic fertilizer and earthworms that can be sold to area farmers, benefiting both target groups. Carriage drivers, who average only $130 in monthly income, can earn an additional $240 each month by selling their organic products. In turn, farmers will benefit with new access to affordable, organic fertilizer, which improves soil quality and increases water retention by 300%.
National School of Applied Science (ENSA Agadir)
The Enactus team created an innovative project, SolHeat, to heat water using solar energy. The team aims to meet the urgent need of rural residents who struggle to access hot water. With expensive gas and electric water heaters being out of reach, residents often burn wood to heat their water, causing air pollution and health dangers. The team designed a simple apparatus using mirrors, copper pipes, insulation and other materials to convert solar energy into thermal energy to produce hot water. Residents will be trained to produce and sell the product to generate income while providing an affordable means for hot water in their community.
Durban University of Technology
Durban University of Technology Enactus partnered with Vukuzame Self Help Disability Cooperative to empower its members to grow and sell seedlings. The team’s business model will not only provide income for disabled entrepreneurs, but also address food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by drought and water shortages. The cooperative aims to grow horticultural products like tomatoes in green house tunnels with drip irrigation, which will allow for the production of crops year-round. The team also aims to create a simple solar-powered cooling system to minimize losses in their produce post-harvest.
North-West University Potchefstroom
North-West University Potchefstroom Enactus partnered with a local senior center to empower residents to earn additional income by producing and selling recycled soap. The team found a steady supply of ingredients in local hotels that contribute discarded soap to the venture. The soap is then processed to be recycled into a safe, affordable product that can be used for household and industrial use. The team will equip the senior center with the skills needed to sustainably manage the business, including areas such as budgeting, sourcing and production. The ultimate goal of the project is to not only provide income for the soap producers, but also create affordable sanitation products for the local community.
Tshwane University of Technology
Tshwane University of Technology Enactus is working with a small community in the Northwest Province to generate economic opportunity through sustainable agriculture. Through their “Agropolis” project, the team aims to develop up to 200 hectares of farmland. Using modern farming practices, drip irrigation and clean technology, farmers will be able to cultivate crops such as cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, sorghum and sunflowers. The team’s business model for the farm also includes the production of organic fertilizer and biofuels to provide sustainable energy.
University of Pretoria
University of Pretoria Enactus is working to improve access to home lighting, which is deterred by lack of electricity in many informal settlements across South Africa. The team designed a fully-automated solar light that costs only R120, compared to the R900 – R1,000 that a household spends on candles each year. The light uses a lithium-ion battery, which can provide high-intensity light for four hours and low-intensity light for up to 12 hours. To bring affordable light and employment opportunities in a local community, the team’s venture will employ entrepreneurs who will learn how to manufacture and sell the products.
Vaal University of Technology
Working with a local agricultural cooperative, the Enactus team at Vaal University of Technology is equipping farmers with skillsets, modern practices and new technologies to improve their livelihoods. To build the farmers’ acumen, the team will provide workshops on topics ranging from entrepreneurship, financing, modern farming, forecasting and technology. The team will also help the farmers incorporate climate control technology to enable the cooperative to produce in the winter months for steady income throughout the year.
Nottingham Trent University
The Enactus team is creating a vertical farming business in partnership with The Refugee Forum, an organization dedicated to supporting refugees as they rebuild their lives and integrate into society. Through vertical farming, the team’s SEED project seeks to address urgent needs of local refugees, including lack of nutritious food, income, education and integration. Project SEED not only creates a social enterprise in which nutritious produce is harvested and sold as a means of income, it also creates a social space for the community. Language classes and culinary workshops will be held to provide training for refugees seeking employment in the food industry. In addition, community and social eating events will be hosted, using the produce harvested, to aid social integration.
University of Kent
Through Project Cantuta, the Enactus team is empowering 26 elderly beneficiaries in a remote South Eastern region of Peru. The team’s project creates a soap enterprise that incorporates naturally sourced honey. By partnering with a local healthcare center, the enterprise will provide an economically-priced soap for the community in need of affordable hygienic products. An upmarket soap will also be produced for tourists and restaurants for an additional revenue stream. Local participants will be involved in all areas of the business, from harvesting the honey, to preparing the soap, to packaging the product. Ultimately, the team aims to create a self-sustaining soap enterprise that incorporates 150 locals in the next three years.
Cycle Two Projects
Federal Center for Technological Education Celso Suckow da Fonseca (CEFET/RJ)
Continuing from last year’s Ford C3 program, the Enactus team has partnered with the Pedra Branca Organic Farming Association (Agroprata) to empower communities of organic producers by creating technological and creative alternatives to optimize production processes and minimize waste. In the first year, the team aided the association in creating a new product line and increasing overall sales.
This year, the team plans to develop a two-part system to optimize workflow and reduce waste. To do so, a zip line will be installed to improve the flow of harvesting fruit, eliminate the use of donkeys as transportation and decrease soil compaction. The second development will be installing solar panels on the association’s headquarters and at locations that do not have electricity. The solar panels will increase efficiency and are projected to save the association 50% on electricity costs.
University of Sao Paulo – Campus São Carlos (USP São Carlos)
The Santa Helena settlement near São Carlos is home to 14 farming families in need of more sustainable agriculture methods and increased livelihoods. The Enactus team is working with the families to improve the crops of legumes, fruits and vegetables grown and sold to feed and financially support the community.
The team created a plan to use biofertilizer on the soil, install a water dump, irrigation system and home chlorination system and teach the farmers business and marketing skills. Through the project, the farming families will see an increase in crop yields and sales while improving their health as a result of cleaner drinking water.
Guangdong Pharmaceutical University
The Enactus team has been working with pig farmers to improve their livelihoods by transforming pig waste into organic fertilizer. The farmers were taught how to ferment the pig waste and convert it into fertilizer so they can sell it to wholesalers. In the project’s first year, the farmers’ income grew and they were able to then hire more employees. In the upcoming academic year, the team will continue the project and take it to scale to impact additional farmers.
Huazhong Agricultural University
Peanut farmers in Shangxinji, China needed to find a sustainable use for discarded peanut shells. After conducting research on waste and fungi, the Enactus team created a solution to utilize discarded peanut shells to grow fungi that can be used to produce earthworms. The peanut farmers can then sell the earthworms for additional income to fishermen. As a result, fishermen will have an affordable, local source of earthworms, the livelihoods of the peanut farmers will be improved and waste will be reduced.
Northwestern Polytechnical University
Engineering students on the Enactus team have developed a low-cost and easily-assembled water filter, which will meet the need for clean water in the Shan’xi province. The team has developed a social enterprise that will train entrepreneurs to assemble and sell water filters for a reliable source of income. The team’s water filter has been certified to produce healthy and safe drinking water. The ultimate goal is to not only lift people out of poverty through entrepreneurship, but also provide affordable, clean drinking water for people in need.
In 2013 dairy farmers in Tianjin saw increased competition in milk production; some so severe that they were forced into bankruptcy. The Enactus team researched a solution to help the farmers diversify their income and found opportunity in breeding earthworms. A cooperative was established with multiple farmers to produce and sell the earthworms, securing formalized agreements with large-scale buyers. The team developed leadership training for the cooperative to easily educate incoming farmers. New communities will be added to the project in the upcoming academic year.
Zhongyuan University of Technology
The Enactus team developed a multistage project to address the excess kitchen and animal waste in Zhengzhou communities. The team will help area farmers establish an earthworm cooperative to mass produce and sell the product as organic fertilizer. The team will educate the community members on the benefits of farming earthworms and help the cooperative establish optimum farming methods. The project aims to improve the livelihoods of the farmers, reduce waste and create an organic fertilizer for local grape farmers.
University of Energy and Natural Resources
The Enactus team saw the need in their country to create an alternative energy source to offset the high-demand of electricity. To do so, the team will create The Dynamo, a generator that will store energy produced in everyday tasks, such as riding a bike, to be taken indoors and used to subsidize electricity use.
The team’s engineering students will design The Dynamo and then employ local disadvantaged and/or disabled residents to manufacture and sell the product. This project ultimately aims to reduce the load on the electrical grid across Ghana while creating employment for those in need.
The Enactus team saw the need to strengthen a cooperative of female poultry farmers in poor, rural Homabay County, Kenya. In 2006 the group of 20 poultry farmers formed a cooperative to assist each other to improve the area’s livelihood. Even with the creation of cooperative, the women still struggle to make a profit.
To assist, the Enactus team has created a training program to educate on business planning, managerial skills, budgeting, marketing, pricing, sales and accounting. The team has also created a five-year expansion plan and researched the best breed of chicken will yield higher market value. The project will train the 20 women of the cooperative on business skills and better agricultural methods, which will result in higher egg and meat production, increased knowledge of the women and an overall livelihood improvement for the Homabay community.
The need of sanitation facilities, waste management, alternative energy, water access and security is very high in the Talai Centre in Eldoret, Kenya. The Enactus team created a multiphase project to address these issues. The first phase will begin with digging a well and building a two-toilet structure. The structure will be built using recycled paper, cement and sand on a 1:2:2 ratio. Phase two consists of using human waste to create a bio-gas that can be used for cooking and an alternative electricity source. During phase three, a borehole to the water well will be drilled and the bio-gas will used to power a water pump. Water will be sold to generate additional funds for the well. To improve safety in the area, security lights will be installed the Talai Centre. This project aims to generate an income in the area from the project’s activities while also increasing the livelihoods of the larger community.
Faculty of Technology of Mohammedia
The Enactus team saw the need in their area to have more efficient food storage, reduce diseases related to poor food preservation and reduce electricity consumption. To do so, the team created Ecoref, an all-natural, non-electric cooling pot that will preserve food 10 times longer than non-refrigeration. The team will engineer the product then hire local potters to mold the pots. This project aims to increase the income of the potters and improve the livelihoods of those who use Ecoref to preserve food and reduce diseases.
Faculty of Technology of Settat
The Enactus team saw the need of special needs teens in Settat, Morocco to join a community after aging out of the youth rehab centers and to earn an income. A cooperative was created to benefit the special needs teens and teach them to make furniture and décor from recycled plastic. Since February 2015, the project has a gained 20 special needs teens and will soon begin product sales, thereby providing a livelihood opportunity for the teens.
National School of Commerce and Management, Agadir – Ibn Zohr University
The Enactus team saw the need of rural residents to heat their homes. To solve the issue, the team created “Sun Can Heat,” a multipurpose solar heater made from soda cans, glass, clay, wood or polystyrene. The team has designed a prototype that requires no previous scientific experience to build, thereby allowing anyone to assemble a heater. This simple creation will increase the livelihoods of rural residents who previously had no heat.
National Institute Posts and Telecommunications (INPT)
Rowboat tourism is a historic and ancestral part of the local cultural, but is in great decline with the tour guides earning less than $2 per day. To aid the Flaykias (tour guides), the team created a three-part project. Part one connected each of the Flaykias to a business consultant who created a specialized plan for each participant. Part two created new services, such as longer promenades and onboard meals, which has already resulted in increased patrons and profits. Part three consists of creating a website and targeted advertisement. Since the project started in May 2014, the Flaykias have increased their individual income by 400%. This progress will grow with the implementation of part three of the project and will continue to improve the livelihoods of the Flaykias.
University of KwaZulu-Natal
The Enactus team saw the need to recycle and reuse the numerous, discarded wooden fright pallets in Warwick Junction and Rivertown, South Africa. To address this issue, the team has created “The Pallet Project” that will train area women on how to run their own pallet recycling businesses by upcycling the wood into tables. The aim of the project is to benefit the environment and community by recycling unwanted pallets and improve the livelihoods of the future female business owners.
University of Limpopo
The Enactus team is partnering with a local organic farm to improve its overall business function. The farm is in a village with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, unemployment and child-headed households. To give back to the community, the farm has supplied a drop-in center with Moringa tree products, which are proven to improve the health of individuals with HIV/AIDS. However, the farm has suffered a downturn in business and production, and is no longer able to provide the products.
To improve the business, the team will help the farm secure contracts with the Department of Health and the Department of Social Development to sell Morgina tree products, hire local youth, increase products and marketing share and expand the facilities. As a result, not only will the farm be strengthened, but it can continue to provide vital products to people with HIV/AIDS.
University of Venda
The Enactus team saw opportunity to empower 20 women of the Mukondeni Pottery group to improve their production and sales of ceramic water filters and bring clean water to their communities. In collaboration with multiple corporations and development agencies, the team has created a complete business plan and training strategy to transfer the necessary skills and knowledge to the women. The benefits of this project are significant: providing much-needed clean water in South Africa, increasing the livelihoods of the pottery group and creating jobs for youth to assist in the water filter production.