Enactus Grenfell students beamed with pride at the recent opening of the Onesie Twosie Children’s Boutique.
“I’m really happy to be here for this,” said Kat Argueta-Turcois, Enactus Grenfell member, at the opening of the boutique that relies on donations of clothing for small children that they sell in their store, located in the lower level of the Millbrook Mall in Corner Brook.
Enactus Grenfell students have been involved in this project with their partners — The Community Youth Network (CYN) and Pathfinders — right from the idea development stage through to the opening of the boutique.
The Grenfell Enactus Team has been working with the CYN to create a social enterprise. CYN approached faculty members in the business program about a year ago to help them generate ideas for how to supplement government funding and to develop a self-sustaining budget that will allow for the continuation of the their programming.
Dr. Jacqueline Walsh, business administration faculty member at Grenfell, embraced the opportunity for her students to work with an organization that was seeking a solution to a real-life problem.
The CYN worked with a few entrepreneurship classes, and the Enactus group’s involvement followed soon after. Specifically, the business students and Enactus worked on a potential business idea that included human resources and potential revenue sources.
“We’ve been so heavily involved — even spending hours here painting the store to get it ready for opening.”
Once the idea for Onesie Twosie was born, the students worked with CYN to help develop a social media strategy and an inventory management process; the group also developed essential training and delivered it to the store’s young employees.
“This has been an exciting project,” said Alexandra Phillips, Grenfell Enactus. “We’ve been so heavily involved — even spending hours here painting the store to get it ready for opening.”
The CYN is a non-profit organization mandated to assist young people in prevention and intervention, including programming in recreation, alternative suspension and recreation, emergency housing and referrals to needed government agencies.
Other partners in Onesie Twosie include the Pathfinder program, a Newfoundland and Labrador English School District alternate education program. The Pathfinder students have responsibilities such as the management of inventory and volunteer work in the store. Full-time employees are organized through the Linkages and Empower N.L. programs.
“The youth working here will earn skills, improve their resumés and increase their confidence, ” said Paul Riley, a teacher with the Pathfinder program.
“Our goal is to work with an organization and provide them the tools they need to achieve their business and social goals.”
While Team Enactus will continue to provide some guidance to Onesie Twosie, Dr. Walsh says they will be moving onto new projects very soon.
“That’s exactly the point,” said Dr. Walsh. “Our goal is to work with an organization and provide them the tools they need to achieve their business and social goals. Through our work on this store, we’ve empowered our partner organizations with the skills necessary to grow a viable business enterprise.”