MEMPHIS — A group of high-achieving Christian Brothers University business majors met early this year to found an innovative club with the international non-profit organization Enactus. Enactus is comprised of student, academic, and business leaders across the globe who work together to make a positive impact on their surrounding communities and abroad. Enactus CBU, the first chapter in the Memphis area, was founded in March with 16 student members.
Enactus CBU and Memphis Challenge are hosting the month-long GEMS (Growing Entrepreneurship in Memphis Students) Bootcamp at CBU for rising 9th- and 10th-grade students of color, identified by Memphis Challenge as high academic potentials, July 7-30. During the camp, they are learning personal responsibility and goal-setting techniques to assist in their transition into high school. CBU Enactus students, as part of the teaching intern team, developed and are delivering a curriculum emphasizing business acumen.
“This partnership with Memphis Challenge is a perfect fit for us,” said Dr. Bev Vitali, Sam Walton Fellow and associate professor of business at CBU. “It’s been so rewarding to watch our Enactus CBU students take the lead on this project. They have interacted with the Memphis Challenge interns to plan and coordinate every aspect of the camp, including the teaching of the curriculum.”
By the end of the camp on July 30, student teams will turn in a business plan, complete with financial forecasts and a marketing plan. CBU Enactus members will continue to engage with these ninth-graders during the school year, refining the business plans and preparing the students for Phase II of the program: “The Shark Tank,” which is inspired by the TV show of the same name.
There are five phases planned for the project, and it will culminate in the high school students actually starting and running a business. “The goal of Enactus CBU is to improve the landscape of our campus, community and world, one entrepreneur at time. By focusing our efforts this summer on this promising group of young people, we hope to ignite a spark that leads to the next Fred Smith or Bill Gates.”
After a month of hard work, the GEMS Bootcamp will conclude on Wednesday, July 30 with a presentation of projects by the participating student teams. The presentation will be held in Spain Auditorium in Buckman Hall on the CBU campus at 5:00 p.m.
For more information on Memphis Challenge and its 9/10 Movement, visit www.memphischallenge.org. For more information on the global Enactus organization, visit enactus.org, or visit CBU’s chapter on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EnactusCBU.