Enactus Okanagan College’s innovative social enterprise the Unusually Good Food Company placed second out of over 70 college and university teams in Canada at the Enactus Canada Nationals last week in Montreal, while the group was also honoured with several team and individual awards.
President MacKenna Lenarcic, who has now completed her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the School of Business at OC, was named the HSBC Women Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year, receiving a $5,000 award to go towards her educational and leadership journey. The award is designed to recognize, celebrate and honour female university and college students who exemplify success and inspire their peers, community and country through entrepreneurial leadership.
“I am so grateful to have had the chance to work alongside such an amazing group of students, faculty, and community members who empower us to achieve our goals. Receiving this award is not just an individual recognition, but a testament to the incredible team efforts of Okanagan College,” said Lenarcic. “Our students inspire me every day to be the best leader I can be, and I am so proud of the impact we have achieved nationally and internationally. I am honoured to have been a part of this journey and I am excited to see the impact the team will continue to have in the future.”
Other student awards at the Enactus Canada Nationals were given to Mandi Kohout, who received the John Dobson Bursary of $2,500 and Annika Kirk, who was awarded the Whitney Barham Social Justice Bursary of $2,500.
Peter Boyd of Peter’s Your Independent Grocer, was named Team Advisor of the Year, awarded to the business advisor that did the most outstanding job of assisting an Enactus team. Peter’s Your Independent Grocer was one of the first retailers to support the Unusually Good Food Company.
“I am incredibly humbled with being recognized as National Team Advisor for Enactus, but what I am most excited about is the brilliant young minds and the knowledge that they are the next generation of business leaders,” said Boyd.
Enactus OC, with 46 students across all OC campuses, also received the Enactus Canada Brand Champion Award at the Nationals, given to the team that has done an outstanding job increasing its profile through innovative marketing and media executions.
Since winning last year’s National title and placing in the top four teams in the world, the Unusually Good Food Company has expanded across Western Canada and its product is now available in 19 cities across the country. The social enterprise rescues apples that don’t fit appearance standards and turns them into apple chips and other products to combat food insecurity and food waste. This year it also expanded to include unusual cherries and grapes, and produces candles out of pomace, the waste left behind after fruit has been juiced.
“On behalf of Okanagan College, I would like to congratulate MacKenna and the entire Enactus OC team as well as our community supporters and our faculty for their outstanding commitment in building the Unusually Good Food Company,” said William Gillett, Dean of the School of Business. “This social enterprise is not only providing our students with a tremendous education, but it truly is helping to fight food insecurity and food waste.”
OC students enrolled in the School of Business attend competitions such as Enactus to enhance their education and provide unique experiences they can carry over into the real world.