Okanagan Enactus team off to Worlds
After claiming the National championship, the Enactus Okanagan College team will travel to Enactus World Cup 2022 in Puerto Rico later this month. For Penticton-based student Jon Talastas, the opportunity brings a chance to showcase a locally-grown idea on the world stage.
From Oct. 30 – Nov. 2, OC’s Enactus team will compete against national champions from 30 other countries on projects that use entrepreneurship and innovation to solve the world’s biggest challenges.
Enactus Okanagan College’s award-winning project – Unusually Good – was inspired by a student who noticed that large amounts of apples are wasted each year because they don’t fit the grocery store appearance standard. In response, the Enactus Okanagan College team worked alongside the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners to turn these “unusual apples” into healthy apple chips that have been distributed to local schools, food banks, and even Guatemala and Ukraine this year. Unusually Good has positively impacted over 22,000 students this year by giving them access to healthy, nutritious apple chips.
With their apple chip donations scaling, Enactus Okanagan College faced an important challenge: how could they fund these social programs as an economically sustainable social enterprise? Their solution? Apple juice! Once again, using those beautiful, imperfect apples, Enactus Okanagan College produced a high-quality juice with an extended shelf life and a compelling social benefit story which enabled them to pay farmers for apples that would have gone to waste.
The value proposition resonated with retailers and customers, allowing Enactus Okanagan College to formally brand and launch a new social enterprise – the Unusually Good Food Company, an innovative organization dedicated to doing some good with those Unusual apples – to help fight food insecurity and climate change.
The team didn’t stop there. From the beginning, they’ve been committed to continuous improvement and innovation to fuel their social enterprise.
This spring, Penticton-based Okanagan College student, Jon Talastas, saw an opportunity to repurpose the apple pomace by-product from juice-making operations to produce apple-scented candles.
Working with a local candle manufacturer, Enactus Okanagan College produced a test run of these candles, and sold out their inventory in only two months! The candles are an additional revenue stream to fund their social and environmental mission and a significant step toward achieving a zero-waste social enterprise.
“EnactusOC students from campuses across the valley have put countless amounts of hours in to create the fully sustainable social enterprise” says Jon Talastas, Penticton Vice President of Enactus Okanagan College. “From local small businesses to customers at Naramata and Penticton markets, it’s been an honour to work with such an incredible community team on this journey.”
Through community and on-campus support, EnactusOC has grown to be a nationally acclaimed organization where student leaders form connections, build confidence, and positively impact our communities through social, economic, and environmental projects.
The EnactusOC community is about to get even bigger at Enactus World Cup 2022. These competitions allow students to engage with diverse teams from across the globe which will give EnactusOC students the opportunity to showcase their success and develop cross-cultural perspectives on how the power of business innovation and entrepreneurial action can be used to impact the world’s toughest problems.
“We’re thrilled to have Enactus Okanagan College show the world the impact our students make,” says Alison Gibson, Regional Dean, Penticton campus.
What’s next for Enactus Okanagan College? After travelling to Puerto Rico with support from their faculty advisors at the end of the month to represent Canada on the world stage, the Enactus Okanagan College team will be back at work inspiring change through social entrepreneurship.
Look for Unusually Good Food Company juice and candles at local retailers and community markets this winter.
To learn more about Enactus Okanagan College, Unusually Good Food Company, and how you can support the team, please visit their website https://www.enactusoc.ca/.
To learn more about Okanagan College’s School of Business, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/business.
Tags: Penticton, Enactus, Okanagan School of Business
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