Enactus, a worldwide student platform for social entrepreneurship, runs an annual global competition, and the Dutch competition was won this year by the Wageningen branch. Enactus Wageningen beat teams from 13 other student communities and now goes on to the World Cup in the US.
Enactus Wageningen after the victory. © Enactus
The Wageningen branch of Enactus was only started two years ago, so the victory on Friday 7 June in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht came as a big surprise. Board member Valerie Bloem: ‘We had set ourselves the goal of reaching the final with a nice presentation. That we should win against teams that have been doing this for 15 years is just bizarre. It’s beyond your wildest dreams.’
The student entrepreneurs of Enactus Wageningen are currently working on five projects aiming to contribute to a sustainable society. UniPlastic and Insect Impact are the most fully developed of these projects. ‘For UniPlastic, people who tend to be excluded from the job market collect plastic,’ explains Bloem. ‘They then shred it and it gets melted into plastic slabs, which can be used for all sorts of products, such as a kind of bar you can hang up on your balcony.’
Insect Impact, meanwhile, is working on an insect-based baking mix. Bloem: ‘Insects can be a good alternative source of protein with which we can feed the world in a more sustainable way. The Insect Impact team has developed a mix for making brownies with ground crickets. This gives people an easy and tasty way of learning about eating insects.’
Other Wageningen Enactus teams are working on refillable shampoo bottles (WeFil), awareness-raising about bees and biodiversity using gift boxes (BeeGrateful) and linking up lonely elderly people with students who need a room (Locus). The presentation team, made up of Steven Poos, Nienke Althuis, Laura Grootes, Sophie Tholhuijsen and Romy van Voorst, will have their travel and accommodation costs covered, but in total 15 to 20 students are going along. ‘It will be even bigger and more American than our national competition. Three thousand students are going, with teams from 37 countries. It’s going to be very special.’
'Even bigger and more spectacular'
Bloem anticipates a spectacular World Cup in Silicon Valley in September. Three thousand students are going, with teams from 37 countries. It’s going to be very special.’