June 25, 2018 – The Bryan College Enactus team recently competed at the Enactus United States National Exposition on May 22. The team was awarded second place in their league in the first round of competition, the school’s first time on the podium at the national exposition.
The Bryan College team presented a live, multi-media summary of their Global Entrepreneurship Initiative, which focuses on job creation and product innovation in Haiti. Working closely with the college’s Haiti Break for Change Team, Enactus members focused on improving and expanding an existing for-profit business, Haiti Made. Haiti Made’s goal since its inception has been to create sustainable work for Haitians in order to keep families united. They do this through leather crafting, creating beautiful and high-quality products from bags to wallets.
This year, Bryan College Enactus saw an opportunity for growth. In collaboration with the biology department, they developed the first stages of a leather care product line with the intent to keep customers coming back to Haiti Made. The first product to emerge, a leather conditioner, proved a success and uses major exports in Haiti as the primary ingredients.
Another project the team began is Bel Cosmetics. This project focuses on natural cosmetics crafted from Haitian resources. Currently, recipes are being developed for natural hair moisturizers for African hair types 2A-4C. This project capitalizes on empowering women through business and the growing market for natural African hair products that meet needs specific to those hair types. Never before has the team undertaken such an ambitious project from scratch. Bel Cosmetics was a particularly stand out project to the judges.
“I am very proud of this year’s Enactus team,” said Benton Jones, Bryan College Enactus advisor and assistant professor of management. “They have continued to take on more impressive projects and to become more competitive. The quality and breadth of projects this year impressed the judges, who are active professionals within their own industries. This year’s projects included those with local and national impact in three areas: Economic Development in Haiti, Individual Health in Rhea County, and Job Preparedness in Rhea County. With the guidance and support of our Business Advisory Board, we expect Enactus to continue to grow and to be competitive.”
The future is indeed bright for the Bryan College Enactus team. Their goals for the fall include locating trustworthy suppliers in Haiti, beginning to manufacture the leather conditioner on a larger scale, and expanding the leather care line to include other products, such as cleaner.
The team will also finish developing the first product in the Bel Cosmetic line and begin testing on the market. They are already planning additional products for the line, which will include skin moisturizers, lip products and face scrubs using all-natural Haitian ingredients.
“The amount of time and energy expended by both the Break For Change and Enactus teams on the Global Entrepreneurship Initiative cannot be overstated,” said recent graduate Abigail Brown. “In addition to the above projects, they also developed internships, marketing strategies, project ambassador programs, inventory management systems, and new product prototypes. Most importantly, they developed relationships with the people of Haiti and saw firsthand the ingenuity and resilience of the people.”
The Bryan College Enactus team is excited to return to Haiti next year and continue the work they have begun. New leadership and recruitment strategies for the fall are already in place to help build a team that will be able to accomplish these ambitious goals.
Bryan College students interested in Enactus, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about Haiti Made by visiting haitimade.com.
Written by Abigail Brown ‘18
Edited by Britney Wyatt – director of marketing