Written by Shevaun Ensor-Harrison, Enactus uOttawa

What an honour and experience it has been to represent Canada on the world stage at Enactus World Cup 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was fortunate enough to have been able to be part of the Enactus World Cup 2014 delegation in Beijing, however being a delegate and being part of Canada’s Enactus National Champion competing team was a completely different experience.

Our team hit the ground running. After a long few days of travel, complete with a mini-European day trip, it was time to get to work. Strategy meetings, late night practicing and coffee-runs were the norm for the week, along with glancing at a few textbooks every now and then considering it was midterm season.

With this being Enactus uOttawa’s first appearance as Team Canada we knew we had to put in some real time to show the rest of the world what we had to offer.  That commitment from our team got us through the opening round and to the semi-finals where we left it all on the stage. I could not have been more proud to be part of Team Canada that day.

Enactus uOttawa Represents Canada at Enactus World Cup

Often when we ask the team what their favourite part was, it’s a tie between the culture fair and watching other teams present throughout the competition.

On the very first day of Enactus World Cup, each country sets up a booth at the World Cultural Experience completely covered in things that represent their home country and culture. There is food, knick-knacks, dancing, photo-booths, and networking. As you make your way around this gigantic room packed with students from 36 countries around the world, you cannot help but feel the positive energy; everyone is excited to be at the competition and share a piece of his or her homeland with the rest of the world.

Then, there’s the competition itself. Watching other countries present the impact of their community projects is an unparalleled opportunity. There are teams that have literally turned trashed water bottles into clean water. Others have created a holistic and complete system of sanitation, from lavatories to feminine hygiene products, for rural communities. Some have found a way to dramatically reduce waste, or create more accessible essentials such as eyeglasses. The innovations are endless, all done with an astounding amount of creativity.

If you have ever been involved with Enactus on any level (as a student, faculty advisor, sponsor, board member, etc), then you know the amount of work, time and effort every single person puts into their projects and their team. Multiply that by over 1,700 and you can begin to grasp what it is like to be a participant in the Enactus World Cup.

It is an event where thousands of students are driven and passionate to create change with entrepreneurial action. That kind of atmosphere inspires teams to take their projects to the next level and innovate new ventures. I know for a fact our team had a flame ignited within them to go back to Ottawa and work harder than ever. Experiencing Enactus World Cup really opens up your eyes to the bigger picture of why we do what we do, and that kind of experience is priceless.

So for this I thank you, the people who have a part in making Enactus Canada what it is and for creating such an invaluable opportunity for students.  All of the delegation from Team Canada left Enactus World Cup with a renewed sense of drive. I, for one, cannot wait to see how that comes to fruition at the Enactus Canada National Exposition this spring.