Empowering action, changing lives

03 July 2017 | General News
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The Enactus NUS team, their mentors and alumni with their award at the competition

Student group Enactus NUS has been named Champions of the Enactus Singapore National Competition on 17 June, earning them the opportunity to represent Singapore in the Enactus World Cup, which will be held in London from 26 to 28 September. Enactus — which stands for Entrepreneurial Action for others creates a better world for Us all — aims to inspire student groups, with guidance and support of educators and business leaders, to develop projects that empower people to use entrepreneurial skills to overcome problems in their lives.

The National Competition is an annual event that gathers students from Enactus clubs in Singapore tertiary institutions to showcase their work in the inspiration of entrepreneurial action, shared Teo Kai En, Year 3 NUS Business student and incoming President of Enactus NUS.  The judging looked at the projects’ innovation, participants’ level of empowerment and sustainability, among other factors.

“As our first time receiving this award, it really marks a significant milestone for Enactus NUS. Both the two presenting teams and the rest of the club are definitely much more motivated and excited for what's to come in the near future,” Kai En said.

As our first time receiving this award, it really marks a significant milestone for Enactus NUS. Both the two presenting teams and the rest of the club are definitely much more motivated and excited for what's to come in the near future.

At the National Competition, they presented two of their eight on-going projects — ‘Neighbourhood Noms’ and ‘Overture’. Both were initiated in 2015 to empower low-income members of the community — ‘Neighbourhood Noms’ focuses on low-income homemakers, while Overture supports students from underprivileged backgrounds.

‘Neighbourhood Noms’ was inspired by team members’ stories of their parents who cooked for and took care of their neighbours’ children while the neighbours were at work. A slight twist on that experience gave them the idea of homemakers in the heartlands cooking and hosting tourists. This project provides homemakers with the opportunity to earn a flexible income while allowing them to fulfil their caregiving roles.

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Participants and homemakers after a session of 'Neighbourhood Noms'

“During a typical programme, participants embark on a tour of the heartlands with the housewives, learning more about their day-to-day lives. Participants then experience a cooking demonstration of popular local dishes and the programme concludes with the participants enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal,” Lennard Tay, Year 3 NUS Business student and Co-Project Director of ‘Neighbourhood Noms’ explained. The team works closely with a Family Service Centre to recruit homemakers with a passion for cooking and hosting. The programme has been well received by the participants, who expressed delight at exploring Singapore off the beaten track, and praised the warmth and hospitality of the homemakers.

 

‘Overture’ takes on the ambitious goal of educating students between the ages of nine and 16 on financial literacy as a means to narrow the income gap. The team arranges workshops and programmes with interactive activities that emphasise the importance of money to the participants. Bushra Rasheed Kareem, Year 3 NUS Engineering student and outgoing Project Director of ‘Overture’ shared an example of taking primary-level students to a supermarket and tasking them with purchasing ingredients for a sandwich within a specific budget. The programme has been successfully conducted for groups of primary and secondary school students thus far. Staff in charge of both groups praised the novelty of the programme, and are keen on more sessions in the years ahead.

 

“Moving forward, we are definitely working to improve our projects and further our outreach to benefit more partners, to ‘Empower Neighbourhoods, Uplift Society’!” Tey Zhong Yin, Year 3 NUS Business student and Co-Project Director of Neighbourhood Noms, declared.

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Students at one of the programmes offered by 'Overture'