Enactus Okanagan College is the only college in Canada,and one of only five post-secondary institutions across Canada to receive three or more national partnership grants from Enactus Canada to support entrepreneurship in the Okanagan.
Enactus Okanagan College students have already applied funds from two of the grants to encourage social entrepreneurship in young people and have launched a new social enterprise, InnSpire, to generate funds for a homeless shelter in Kelowna.
The grants are part of the Enactus Canada partnership program and include the Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur Project Partnership sponsored by the RBC Foundation and presented by Futurpreneur, the BDC Entrepreneurs First Project Partnership, and the 3M Canada Problem Solving Project Partnership.
“Being selected for the three grants goes to show how much effort our team, and our community partners put into our programs,” said Tom Arrowsmith, president of Enactus Okanagan College.
“These grants add an extra level of validity to our programs by having them be nationally recognized.”
Dr. Kyleen Myrah is the faculty advisor helping oversee the newly launched InnSpire venture, which is a partnership with Inn From the Cold.
The students have created a social enterprise that generates revenue from the sale of donated soap. The funds support Inn From the Cold’s Chandler House and the students get the chance to put their business skills to use.
“The goal of this project is to run a social enterprise; providing a sustainable source of revenue that also serves to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness, promote the work of the Inn From the Cold organization, and provide long-term employable opportunities for the men in the Chandler house,” said Myrah.
The Enactus Okanagan College students launched the social enterprise in November using the proceeds from the 3M Project Solving Partnership as seed money. The project has already achieved several thousand dollars in revenues for Inn From the Cold.
Future plans for the project include expanding the number of sales locations and the product base to further support the sustainability of the program.