Prior to starting any project, it is important that your team understands the new Enactus judging criterion:
“Which Enactus team most effectively used entrepreneurial action to empower people to improve their livelihoods in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way?”
Component #1: Entrepreneurial Action
Enactus defines “entrepreneurial action” as taking the opportunity to use sustainable business and sound economic practices to develop innovative business models based on risk, commitment and a willingness to follow through.
Component #2: Empowerment
Teams directly empower individuals when the project beneficiaries take the skills and/or knowledge they learn during the initial stages of the project and implement those skills and or/knowledge in their lives. This direct empowerment requires communication, understanding and challenging long-standing assumptions about what outcomes people need.
A collaborative approach is key when working with the target audiences. People learn the most when they are engaged, which is why it is important that project beneficiaries are an active part of all the stages of project design and execution.
Teams should always consider incorporating solutions for long-term empowerment in their project design. It is important to think ahead about what will happen to the project when the team leaves. Is the project able to continue without the team? Is the target audience able to apply the skills/knowledge that they gained throughout the project and share it with others?
Component #3: Livelihoods
A livelihood is the means and activities involved in sustaining an individual’s life. Livelihoods are fueled by what are known as livelihood assets. These assets are the financial, social, natural, physical and human capital used in obtaining desired outcomes.
There are five categories of livelihood assets:
- Financial assets: Financial resources available to an individual
- Social assets: Networks, groups and relationships
- Natural assets: Natural resources available to an individual (e.g. air, water, land, etc.)
- Physical assets: Basic infrastructure and goods (e.g. shelter, transportation, water supply, sanitation, energy, etc.)
- Human assets: Skills, knowledge and ability to work and pursue livelihood strategies
Component #4: Economically, Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Project Solution
Sustainable business practices take into account profit, people and the planet.
Economic sustainability (Profit): Is a project economically viable? Economic factors in an Enactus project may include (but are not exclusive or limited to):
- empowering others to increase the profitability of their business
- empowering others to improve an existing business
- developing new entrepreneurial ventures which help increase revenue and profit for others
- illustrating that project participants have increased their personal wealth and or financial management capacity
Social sustainability (People): How does the project impact the well-being of the project participants? Examples of social factors in Enactus projects may include (but are not exclusive or limited to):
- equal opportunity for health care
- fair and equal treatment and pay of employees
- employee development
- developing people’s success skills
- business ethics
- reinvesting profit or gains into the surrounding community through sponsorships or other social initiatives
Environmental sustainability (Planet): What is the environmental impact of a project? Enactus teams should aim to minimize the negative impact on the environment. From the planning stage until the execution of the project, Enactus teams should make the necessary arrangements to ensure that their projects do not harm the environment. Examples of considering environmental factors in Enactus projects may include (but are not exclusive or limited to):
- conducting an environmental audit
- profitability of environmentally friendly solutions/materials/products
- choosing sustainable materials for new products and processes
- working with bio degradable products and sustainable energy sources
Enactus Canada Program Managers are your best resource for information on the new Enactus Judging Criterion. Contact your Program Manager with any questions.