A group of Belmont University business students were recently named the 2012 World Cup champions at the International Entrepreneurship Competition.
“It was a competition hosted by the State Department, as well as Hillary Clinton in Washington DC,” explained Belmont senior Ayesha Ghaffar.
Student Eric Taft added, “We competed against 38 other nations sharing our projects of what we have done in the community and how we have impacted the lives of people.”
The competition was organized by a nonprofit group called Enactus whose mission is to use the power of entrepreneurial action to make a difference in the lives of people in need.
“The idea is to use the entrepreneurial spirit to bring about social change progress and hopefully solve social problems and then apply student's business skills,” said the Dean of Belmont's College of Business, Dr. Pat Raines.
The Belmont students won by presenting the results of their community outreach projects to nearly 100 prestigious international business leaders who served as judges.
The Belmont students flagship project is a business called Spring Back Recycling, a nonprofit business that employs formerly homeless or incarcerated workers in recycling mattresses.
The business not only helps reduce 250 tons of waste from the landfills, but also gives its employees an opportunity for sustainable employment and small business training.
Winning the competition is a huge honor but senior Andrew Bishop told Nashville's News 2 it did not feel like a competition, but a way to help make the world a better place.
“A lot of the problems that we are facing are universal. Poverty, homelessness they are every where, but to see everybody's different approach to solving those is truly incredible. So, while it was awesome to win and it was such a great experience, it is not really what I felt like we were doing. I felt like we were sharing ideas primarily.”
For more information on Spring Back Recycling, visit their Web site.