Headed to Kansas City for National Competition in May
MACON – A team of five students from Mercer University won the Enactus United States Virtual Regional Competition on April 20 and will travel to Kansas City, Missouri, May 20-22 to compete with more than 100 regional champions from around the country at the Enactus United States National Exposition.
Elizabeth Kingery, Shane Buerster, Jacob Pate, Pornchai Chantha and Harsh Patel presented a live, multimedia summary of two entrepreneurial-based projects they developed and implemented – Traffick Jam and Z Beans.
The students were judged by a panel of business leaders on how successful they were at using business concepts that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities.
Traffick Jam is a self-sustaining team of students whose purpose is to teach teens how to drive out sex trafficking from their community. The team’s goals are to prevent youth from being sold for sexual purposes and to help them achieve their goals for their lives.
Z Beans is a coffee company, founded by Buerster, with the purpose of creating sustainable solutions for impoverished coffee farmers through fair-trade importation of its product from farms in Zaruma, Ecuador, and surrounding areas in the El Oro Province.
“Competition encourages creativity, motivates excellence and rewards results,” said Alex Perwich, president of Enactus United States. “Enactus students are transforming lives and enabling real human progress through entrepreneurial action, while developing key business and leadership skills that will differentiate them from their peers.”
Kingery, a senior double-major in marketing and sports business from Claxton, serves as president of Mercer’ Enactus team, while Buerster, a senior triple-major in economics, marketing and Spanish from Pooler, serves as vice president.
Pate is a junior marketing major from Columbus. Chantha is a junior sports marketing and analytics major from Chicago, Illinois, and Patel is a junior marketing major from Warner Robins.
Dr. Briana Stenard, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, and Dr. Tammy Crutchfield, professor of marketing, served as faculty advisers to Mercer’s Enactus team.
“We are really proud of our team of students for working hard and coming out with a win their first time competing. They represented Mercer social entrepreneurship well,” said Dr. Stenard.
“I am excited but not surprised at all,” added Dr. Crutchfield. “Traffick Jam and Z Beans are amazing, sustainable brands created and managed by students. Since 2015, Traffick Jam has educated more than 2,000 students and has fully self-funded the work, and since September 2017, Z Beans has employed a dozen Ecuadorian farmers, has turned a profit, and is headed back to Zaruma in May to buy more coffee. Nationals here we come.”
Enactus believes investing in students who take entrepreneurial action for others creates a better world for us all. Enactus develops college students into leaders who use business to solve community challenges, creating sustainable improvements in the lives of the people their projects’ serve, and in turn, the lives of the students themselves. As the largest experiential learning platform in the world devoted to social entrepreneurial action, Enactus has more than 72,000 student participants on over 1,700 campuses in 36 countries. For more information visit www.enactusunitedstates.org.
About the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics
Established in 1984, Mercer University’s Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics is named for Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in corporate history. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted over 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold senior leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer’s business school delivers career-focused business education programs and develops entrepreneurial leaders and responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of all top business schools worldwide. Mercer’s business school has been recognized by the Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as being one of its “Best Business Schools.” In addition, it has been recognized among the “Top 15 Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting.” The School offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening BBA, Full-Time (One-Year) MBA, Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA, Master of Accountancy, M.S. in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA and Evening MBA), Douglas County and Henry County (Evening BBA). www.mercer.edu/business