The first in a series of’ Enactus Startup 242’ Social Enterprise competitions held in partnership with St. Mary’s University took place at Agape Christian School on Dec. 8. Two additional competitions were scheduled for Forest Heights Academy (FHA) and Abaco Central High School (ACH).
Enactus is a community organization based in Canada, and it is comprised of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better World.
Facilitator of the competitions was Carl Archer Jr., who is the Project Manager of Enactus Startup 242 , which assists students in Grades 10 to 12 with business startups that will contribute to their local economy.
There were two competitors equipped with business ideas at Agape: Kimora Williams and Vado Bootle Jr.
Williams’ presentation was about a business idea for musicians called ‘Be Great.’ The mission of the faith-based business would be to assist musicians with securing corporate sponsors to travel and meet other artists to gain exposure and develop their musical talent.
Meanwhile, Bootle Jr. presented an idea called ‘Gamer’s Hideout.’ With $107 billion being generated by the gaming industry, he considered how bringing a game room business to Abaco would be a fun, positive impact to the community.
His survey confirmed that 97 percent of its participants agreed with his idea. Bootle also considered the population of Abaco, and zoned in on his target market, which would be an estimated 2,712 young people between the ages of 13 to 25.
Each contestant was given a two-minute long question and answer session to answer questions about their business ideas in more detail. Judges left the room to deliberate, and when they returned, it was determined that both students would move on to the second round of the competition.
Archer Jr. explained that he would take the results of the competition with him when he returns to Canada. There, he would then meet with a team of consultants who will work with the students from January 2017 to the end of the school year to fine tune their business ideas.
While congratulating the competitors, he commended them for showing extraordinary character and confidence to do what they had accomplished.
“Opportunities like this come along once in a lifetime,” Archer Jr. said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen unless you try.”
During her remarks, Vice Principal Kathy Sawyer told the students how proud she was of them particularly with their hard work in keeping up with their studies at school. She excitedly looks forward to the progress they will make by June.
Principal Cecile Albury also addressed the students, and she shared how intimidating it can be to stand in front of an audience. She encouraged the students telling them that they all can do anything that they put their minds to. Albury added that she would be happy to see both ideas succeed that Williams and Bootle had put forth.
“Agape started as a dream and it grew,” Albury recalled. “I challenge both of you to keep God first.”
Turning the mic back over to Archer Jr., he explained that the competitors would receive certificates for their participation, and as proof that they had participated in a community program with St. Mary’s. He revealed that The Bahamas government is offering a scholarship through St. Mary’s University for Bahamian students pursuing a college education.
Additionally, Enactus is the top society on campus therefore its business graduates are 59 percent more respected by Canadian business leaders who recognize that they rank among the best, Archer Jr. said.
“This is a dream come true for me to give students opportunities that I didn’t have,” Archer Jr. expressed. “I wanted to make it easier to build a bridge to their dreams and future successes. This is just the beginning for these students because they are going to change as they are exposed to international talent and as they progress throughout this competition.”