(CALGARY) 6 March 2017 – Kelowna is home to over 34,000 seniors, many of whom are experiencing increased rates of isolation and depression due a loss of social connections. In response to this problem, Enactus Okanagan College students created Silver Surfers – a mentorship program aimed at equipping seniors with the basic functions of everyday technology to help them regularly reconnect with loved ones.

In Vancouver, Enactus Simon Fraser University students sought to help recovering drug addicts, a demographic that faces a 90 per cent unemployment rate, reintegrate into society through rewarding employment opportunities.

These two Enactus teams have been named 2017 TD Entrepreneurship Challenge Regional Champions by Canada’s largest experiential learning platform, Enactus Canada, and program supporter TD Bank Group.

Enactus Okanagan College’s Silver Surfers has empowered 96 senior citizens across 5 different retirement homes. On average, seniors surveyed after participation reported using technology to connect with loved ones 1-2 times per week. With the help of corporate partners, Enactus Okanagan will also be providing permanent iPad stations in each retirement home to ensure all seniors have access to technology.

Through Coast Cards, Enactus Simon Fraser University has sold 560 cards, diverting 25 lbs of waste from landfills. The team also partnered with John Volken Academy, the largest recovery centre in Western Canada to create transitional, part-time work opportunities for recovering addicts. The project currently employs five recovering addicts from the John Volken Academy, earning $12/hour.

“Entrepreneurship drives innovation, job creation and employment” said Nicole Almond, President of Enactus Canada. “Through this challenge, we empower students to use their own entrepreneurial skills to help ensure the ongoing growth of entrepreneurial ventures across Canada.”

The TD Entrepreneurship Challenge is a national competition empowering post-secondary students to develop and deliver projects that teach entrepreneurial skills to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. Since 2007, 13,018 students have exposed 67,875 people to entrepreneurship as a viable career path and have positively impacted 15,893 entrepreneurs.

Student teams demonstrated the impact of their entrepreneurial projects to panels of business executives on March 3 in Calgary as part of the Enactus Canada Regional Exposition – Western Canada.

Enactus Okanagan College and Enactus SFU will now move on to the national level of competition taking place May 9-11 at the 2017 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Vancouver.

ABOUT ENACTUS CANADA: Enactus Canada, the country’s largest post-secondary experiential learning platform, is shaping entrepreneurial leaders who are passionate about advancing the economic, social and environmental health of Canada. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, more than 2,734 entrepreneurial post-secondary students led 280 community empowerment projects and business ventures last year in communities coast to coast. As a global network of 36 countries, Enactus uses the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. For more information, visit enactus.ca.

Media Inquiries:
Jennifer Falzon
Director, Marketing & Strategic Growth, Enactus Canada
jen@enactus.ca | 416.304.1566 x222 | 416.315.2099