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Regional champs

Two projects, two titles: Enactus Memorial wins at Atlantic competition

Student Life

By Susan White

Following hundreds of hours of hard work, Enactus Memorial is on its way to the national championship.

Members of Enactus Memorial celebrate. They're wearing black business suits and are cheering.
Enactus Memorial won two titles with Project R3D and Equipped2Excel at the regional exposition.
Photo: Enactus Canada

The group of Memorial University students claimed two titles at the Enactus Canada Regional Exposition in Halifax, N.S., from Feb. 29-March 1.

Fourteen teams from around Atlantic Canada took part in the competition.

Enactus Memorial is a student-led organization empowering local communities through social entrepreneurship.

At expositions, students showcase how their community outreach projects and business ventures are making a real impact in Canada and beyond.

Through rounds of live, presentation-based competitions, business leaders serving as judges determine which Enactus teams will be named regional champions and move on to the final rounds of competition held at the Enactus Canada National Exposition.

This year, the national competition will be in Toronto, Ont., from May 14-16.

‘Feeling of pride’

In Halifax, Enactus Memorial’s Project R3D was named inaugural Innovation and Impact Challenge winner as well as the runner-up in the Canadian Tire Environmental Sustainability Challenge.

Equipped2Excel won the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge and was the runner-up in the Desjardins Youth Empowerment Challenge.

“That team connection and all of that work we’re putting in together is part of what makes it all worth it.” — Sarah Moore

Sarah Moore, a fifth-year business student, is one of three co-presidents for Enactus Memorial.

She’s responsible for internal matters and projects, and served as logistics co-ordinator for regionals.

Ms. Moore says there are “so many” hours put into preparing for projects, not just logistics for the competition, but also community outreach, building up the projects and working with partners.

“It’s very much a team effort,” she said. “That team connection and all of that work we’re putting in together is part of what makes it all worth it – that recognition and the feeling of pride of what we’ve all accomplished together.”

Both projects were launched in 2022; the team focused on growth and impact to date while competing in Halifax.

Project R3D

Project R3D has already garnered some accolades, winning the Scotiabank Climate Change Challenge at the 2023 Atlantic competition.

It was also one of four national winners of the Ocean Communities Climate Challenge last summer.

The project’s initial intent was to convert plastic bottles into 3D printing filament with a long-term goal of tackling discarded or lost nylon fishing nets, often referred to as ghost gear.

But after considering that recycling methods already exist for plastic bottles, the group spent the past few months focusing exclusively on ghost gear.

They’ve partnered with the Clean Harbours Initiative to ensure a consistent supply of materials and with Memorial’s Student Design Hub to create a prototype that shreds and creates pellets out of the nets.

The end result is a more specialized nylon filament that may be used in 3D printing to create durable and flexible parts.

Its strength and resistance to wear and tear make it suitable for building prototypes and mechanical elements and is appropriate to use across a range of industries including automotive, aerospace, health care and more.

“With the scale of the fishing nets [in the ocean], if the team can get to the place where we can work with the nylon fishing nets, there is a market opportunity for that because of the unique uses of nylon,” Ms. Moore said.

To date, Project R3D has saved about 618 grams of plastic material from going into landfills. The group sees the potential to recycle as much as 2.17 tons of ghost gear each year and envisions achieving profits within 1.5 years.

Equipped2Excel

This is the first time Equipped2Excel placed in a competition.

The project aims to help high school students develop soft skills and financial literacy through a hybrid model of in-person presentations and virtual training.

“A big thing coming out of the pandemic was a lot of students missed out on those career classes.” — Sarah Moore

Since last year, Enactus Memorial has launched a new website with 10 training modules on topics such as professionalism, leadership, resumé building, budgeting and setting financial goals.

The group has reached 484 people through the project.

“A big thing coming out of the pandemic was a lot of students missed out on those career classes, but also a lot of the in-person opportunities to develop some of those soft skills that are really important for entering the workforce,” said Ms. Moore.

She says Equipped2Excel is still in a beta testing phase, in which they’re verifying subject matter expertise and consulting with students about their needs and experiences with the online platform.

Enactus Memorial is comprised of students from the faculties of Business, Engineering and Applied Science, and Humanities and Social Sciences as well as the Marine Institute.


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