Students from Okanagan College represented Canada on the global stage this week, presenting their social enterprise business at a prestigious international competition and finishing in the final four of 32 teams.
Enactus OC, comprised of students from the Okanagan College School of Business, won the national title in September and earned the right to wear the maple leaf and represent Canada at the Enactus World Cup in Puerto Rico. The final round of competition wrapped up on Nov. 2.
“We are so proud of this team and of all Okanagan College students, alumni, faculty and staff who have over the past 17 years been a part of Enactus OC. Their creativity, commitment and passion inspires all of us,” said Dr. Neil Fassina. “Our OC team – Team Canada – tackled food insecurity and diverted 35,000 pounds of food waste through their projects, which continue to thrive and will have even greater impacts for years to come.”
“This has been an exhilarating past week," said MacKenna Lenarcic, President of Enactus OC. "Being able to stand on the Final 4 stage representing Team Canada has been a dream come true. This is a testament of the Enactus Okanagan College program and dedication from our students, faculty and community partners who we couldn’t have done this without. Who would have thought a small college from Kelowna would make it to the top 4 out of 2,064 teams from across the world.”
The presenting team included Lenarcic, Rebekah Dingwall, Jackson Price, Mandi Kohout, Danielle Walker and tech support Andrew Loken.
The Enactus team at Okanagan College has been recognized widely this year for their projects Unusually Good Food Co. and FruitSnaps, two enterprises that collect and use apples that have fallen to the ground in orchards that unless collected, would go to waste.
Unusually Good Food Co. takes the “unusual” apples and creates apple juice and other products for sale, while FruitSnaps turns them into apple chips and donates them to local schools, community organizations and developing countries.
Reaction to the team’s success in Puerto Rico this week and messages of congratulations to the Okanagan College students, alumni and faculty team speak to their achievements:
“Participating in this event is a great opportunity to showcase the exceptionally innovative and community-based ideas coming from Okanagan College’s business students, who are truly world class,” said Anne Kang, British Columbia’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “Being able to showcase an idea that helps turn food waste into social and economic good on a global stage has never been more relevant. Congratulations to Team Canada!”
“We have so many talented students coming from Okanagan College’s School of Business who have innovative skills and enterprising ideas, who I know will go on to make a positive difference in people’s lives and our communities,” said Andrew Mercier, B.C. Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “A big congratulations to these students for winning the Canadian National championship and showing the world their tremendous ideas.”
“The home-grown Enactus OC team is putting British Columbia on the map and helping to build a stronger food economy here in B.C.” said Lana Popham, B.C. Minister of Agriculture and Food. “Their social entrepreneurship, drive, and care for the land and those around them is so inspiring to me and to their community, and will help to ensure a resilient food future in B.C.”
“Innovation is a key factor in fighting climate change and building a sustainable economy for B.C.,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “I’m incredibly proud of the Enactus Okanagan College team. Their Unusually Good Food Company is a fantastic example of the kind of environmentally and socially responsible businesses that we need and want to support as we continue to foster innovation across our economy.”