Introducing an AMAZING Project by Enactus Memorial and Capital One


This weekend, as 38 family members (mostly from Newfoundland) gathered in celebration of my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary, we announced the news that Noah will be attending Memorial University this coming September.

There were a few reasons for choosing the university but mostly, they have a fantastic 5 year co-op commerce program that will allow Noah to complete his degree with three work-terms under his belt. We’d been to an information session about Memorial University a few months ago…and honestly, it was the first session that had him feeling comfortable…like maybe it was a place where he could fit in and belong.

BONUS…St. John’s, for us, is FULL of family!

Immediately on telling the news at our family get together, my Aunt Marie began chatting with Noah about what she knew of the university and the commerce program in particular…turning to my Uncle Mike and asking, “What’s that program Andrew’s friends are in? Act…Act something or other?”

“You mean Enactus?” I chimed in.

“Yes, that’s it!” she said as she went on to tell Noah about the program…how student entrepreneurs research and create programs from beginning to end, then compete regionally, nationally and internationally showcasing their projects. My Aunt spoke of the number of fabulous kids they knew who’d participated in the program…representing the university in competitions around the country. Learning about the world around them…making a difference. She mentioned the projects they’ve been involved in since graduation…and how what they learned as being part of Enactus Memorial had made a huge difference in their lives as young entrepreneurs.

The thing is, I’d already researched the program and was well aware of the project that the 2016 Enactus Memorial team was involved in. In fact, I’d been asked by Capital One, sponsor of a financial literacy themed challenge in the Enactus regional and national competitions, to write about the students at MUN!

The Capital One Financial Education Challenge empowers Enactus teams to create projects that address the specific and unique financial education and/or financial inclusion needs and opportunities in their communities with the aim of improving livelihoods in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.

In other words…figure out what’s lacking in a community (because of lack of financial education and/or financial inclusion), then design a program that solves that need!

OK…there was a lot more to it as in they had to conduct a needs assessments and feasibility studies and figure out the financial end of things in order to make their program sustainable. But, what better challenge for a group of students than to turn REAL LIFE problems into SOLUTIONS! In the process of creating helpful programs, they’re learning how money works in the real world and how to deliver financial education to better the lives of others! Participation in the Capital One Financial Education Challenge and the Enactus program helps students to build their business skills, global outlook, financial skills, leadership ability, and sustainable practices…creating the leaders of tomorrow.

The 2016 Enactus Memorial Team should be INCREDIBLY PROUD of themselves…with a lot of work, they’ve created a product to grow produce in ANY community regardless of conditions or financial means. The students at the Newfoundland university looked at remote areas of Labrador…where weather is an issue but also, the cost of shipping in produce is exorbitant. From there, they created Project SucSeed. They partnered with the Engineering Faculty to create a hydroponic system made of recycled materials. Capital One then helped the team develop a microloan program to help communities purchase the hydroponic units. AND…Choices for Youth, a local charitable organization that helps with at-risk youth, builds the units and receives financial literacy training from Enactus Memorial…empowering these young people to take control of their lives. Everyone wins!

Check out the video with all of the details:

The Enactus Memorial team is one of the most successful Enactus teams in the country. They’ve won the national title seven times AND won the World Cup in 2008. In January, they were one of two university teams to be named 2016 Capital One Financial Education Challenge Regional Champions in Eastern Canada and they’ll move on to the national competition, taking place May 2-4 at the 2016 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Toronto, Ontario.

In a few months, my son will be heading to Memorial University to start his education in a new place…surrounded by new people and brand new experiences. I’m hoping he’ll look into the Enactus program…and learn the skills needed to be a financially responsible and a productive leader of tomorrow! Surrounded by a group of students…who really want to make a difference in this world.

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I’m an entrepreneur who’s constantly coming up with ideas and then turning those ideas into action…hoping to make a few dollars for myself while making a difference in someone’s life. I’m juggling parenting and business and constantly seeking to find the right balance to make it all work. The Enactus Memorial students are doing the same…helping community members, supporting themselves, discovering ways to balance school life, financial obligations and family through entrepreneurship.

Throw a little advice their way by answering this question in the comments, for a chance to be featured in a future post: What is the most important financial lesson you have learned, while trying to juggle work and family life?

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Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Capital One to help support Enactus Memorial. As always, the opinions in this post are my own.

18 Replies to “Introducing an AMAZING Project by Enactus Memorial and Capital One”

  1. Great question! Hmmm. Well as someone who has been self-employed for almost six years, I would say the biggest financial lesson I’ve learned is the importance of being organized. Keeping track of every dollar, planning for the future — even things like upcoming birthdays, Christmas, etc. — and automatically transferring money to savings (rather than just putting in whatever’s left over at the end of the month).

  2. My biggest financial lesson is to plan. Not just savings or big purchases, but mostly how we spend in our everyday lives.
    We meal plan, have a grocery budget and if we have left over, either save it or use to help with charitable groups.
    This program sounds amazing. What a fabulous way for young inovation people to start out their adult lives! Good luck you your son and I look forward to hearing more about the program through your blog. Might have to plant th seed for my young guys future career path 🙂 Newfoundland is a bonus, as we have many family members there as well.

  3. I had exactly zero dollars when I became a Mom. I worked and lived (meagre) paycheque to paycheque and hoped my rent wouldn’t bounce. I think the most important lesson I learned was to invest in myself: I found my passion, I found my educational program and I put the time, effort and money into building a career from nothing. No one can ever take your education from you.

  4. After deciding to leave my corporate job, in favour of working from home and spending time being a mom, I have learned a very important financial lesson… a family can work off one income if they are willing to make sacrifices. I buy items second hand, we have one car, and we don’t spend a lot on things we don’t need. It’s hard, but it’s doable. 🙂

  5. Never stop working ! There will be plenty of people who will challenge you to take the easy way out, but you’ll never live with yourself. There’s nothing more rewarding.

  6. These tips are amazing. I would also have to say being organized is really important to not spending money you don’t have. Also never stop learning! You’ll always be successful and be able to find work if you never stop learning and improving yourself!

  7. I love programs like Enactus! My continuing struggle with finances is to truly visualize all the digital ones and zeros as the cash I need to survive. Before I went to university (20 years ago!), I did every transaction in cash – and I managed my finances much better. It was harder to part with the extra $5 or $20 for an indulgence when I could see the savings pile diminishing. Learning how to properly budget and work within your means isn’t a way to confine your spending; it’s a way to empower yourself for future financial freedom and stability.

  8. When I was young the answer to this question would have been put a little away for a rainy day, now it is telling myself that it is ok to enjoy a little as long as your saving a little more.

  9. Wow! Sounds like an absolutely amazing program! Almost makes me want to go back to school 🙂 I think the most important financial lesson I’ve learned in terms of family finance is to manage debt properly, never live off credit and to always have a ‘dream fund’ – because if you’re living right, opportunities will come and you always want to be able to just say ‘yes’!

  10. I firmly believe that your financial goals have to be in sync with your personal goals and that money should never be the goal, but a side effect of living a joyful and meaningful life.

    What a great program and I really hope Noah gets involved 🙂

  11. There have been many lessons I have learned along the way. But what comes to mind right off the bat is talking about finances with my kids is super important. Especially when it comes to budgeting and saving. That was something my parents never liked to discuss with me. Their mindset was to not talk about it because they did not want me to worry about money. My money mantra is very different “Money matters so lets talk about it. Saving, spending, wasting money- it all needs to be discussed in an open environment.”

  12. What a great program and congrats Noah!!
    Our biggest financial problem/lesson is sort of related… how to pay for education for 3 kids? We were listening to some well-meaning people when our oldest was born and made investments that basically all went down with the financial crisis. So my lesson would be that gather your information and tips from multiple places, and don’t trust just one single “advisor”.

  13. There are so many lessons, many of which I would like to have learned earlier. One I recall, about 35 years ago when my son came home from school after having a Social Studies lesson on money. He commented, “Dad, you know that bike I have been talking about, I know how we can get it. We can borrow the money from a bank or take out a mortgagee on our house.” My quick response was, “we already have a mortgagee on our house.” With great shock he replied, “We don’t own our house! ”Kids don’t need to know the nitty details of the family finances, however, it will be helpful for them to have an understanding.
    Both parents and kids need to know the value of money. The need for savings. And to work for what we get. Older kids should also participate and contribute toward what they want. Credit should only be used sparingly and wisely by paying in full and not allow interest to accumulate.
    Congrats Enactus Memorial team and good luck in the contest.

  14. Congrats to the Enactus Memorial team and best of luck in the contest. What a wonderful project you have developed! You make Newfoundland and Labrador proud!
    Noah, we are very excited you have chosen to attend Memorial, which is a fabulous university and Bonus: we get to see you and feed you more often! xo
    In answer to your question Colleen, education is the best gift you can give to yourself no matter what the financial cost. Being a stay at home mom until my four children were in full time school I cherished those years. At 43 yrs old I finally graduated from Memorial University having taken part time courses for years and participating in full time studies for the last three years before I finished my degree. Although I had to borrow from the bank in order to attend full time it was the best thing I ever did. No doubt it was challenging juggling all the activities of my children as well as my studies I believe it provided my children the opportunity for them to learn that anything is possible if you have a passion for learning! Spending wisely and hard work helps in providing a successful future for yourself and your family.

  15. One of the biggest financial lessons I have learned since starting a family is saving for their education. We also have children headed to post secondary this September…twins…who are now 18…so yes…we survived(!) and went on to have one more. 🙂 The relief I feel over having RESP’s for the kids is immense. There’s no way we would have just “saved” this amount, and I feel good that we can get them started towards their future, without a mountain of debt at the end. Maybe, a molehill….but hopefully not a mountain. 😉 I would advise any parent to look into education savings. We invested our child tax credit and never knew the difference.

  16. This program sounds really amazing and I second Heather’s sentiments. I hope Noah gets involved. Very cool.

    The most important lesson I have learned is to go with my gut instincts. We took a financial hit when I decided to stay home with my kids, but they needed me and because we had decided together we have always, always, made it work to our advantage. I took advantage of my time at home to make sure my kids were safe, happy, and thriving. I have used any alone time to learn as much as I can about turning my “hobbies” into “jobbies” and it will soon pay off! 😀

    We have a common goal and we are moving towards it together.

    One more thing, live within your means. 🙂 Just because you can spend, doesn’t mean you should. Just like a Degree, there is great merit in working towards a financial goal.

  17. Good Luck in this contest Enactus Memorial Team. You make NL proud of you. Education is very important and you never stop learning. Manage your money and live within your means,but remember to always have some savings.Don’t make money your goal and put passion into your career. Work hard and keep your goals in mind. Always keep healthy . A healthy body and mind always helps a person to succeed in a career,

  18. I don’t have a family at this point, but I think it’s always important to have a defined goal to save for. Then break it down into manageable milestones 🙂