Students: the Future of Global Social Entrepreneurship
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'Social enterprise is the future. It combines the entrepreneurial spark in people, and gives back to the community as well – it has made me a more responsible person and is creating more morale and responsible business leaders of the future.’ 23 year-old Jack Stanbury is adamant that the experience he gained at University outside his course has offered him skills and experience invaluable for him to establish his own business. With experience leading a team to raise over £21,000 to take some 20 Southampton students to compete in the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) World Cup in Kuala Lumpur this year, we think he’s on to something too. As president of SIFE, Stanbury became team leader for a consultancy project, recruited over 90 new students to join the organisation, and led it to victory as National UK Champions earlier this summer. He tells the TNS that SIFE ‘puts you in situations you have never been in before, and that you had not dared to even put yourself in; it makes you come out your comfort zone and find out things about yourself which you thought you could never do.’ SIFE, or Students In Free Enterprise, is a global non-profit organisation that works with leaders in business and higher education to help to make a difference in communities whilst developing skills to become socially responsible business leaders. The organisation has operations at over 1,500 universities in 39 countries across the globe, with approximately 48, 000 active members internationally. Its worldwide revenue last year amounted to around $12,800,000. As part of the Southampton University team, Stanbury and other members at the university established projects to sell or lease solar powered lamps to rural Madagascan villages, help young people in the UK who aren’t in education, employment or training, and a microfinance scheme to assist Madagascan farmers set their own family businesses. It was these projects that the Southampton team took to the National SIFE World Cup, beating 33 other teams across the country and winning a place at the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this summer. Unfortunately, the team lost out to a team in Germany who ultimately took the winning accolade, but Stanbury is passionately enthusiastic about the team’s experience in Malaysia.
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