Launched in: 2016
Application Timing: Jan. - March
In partnership with global nonprofit Enactus, Ford Fund invites student teams to develop ideas for innovative projects that address an unmet social need or problem in the local community—ranging from safety to workforce development to access to mobility, and more. Each year, up to three Enactus student teams are selected to receive a £5,000 grant to implement their project. Through this program, students use entrepreneurial action to make people’s lives better and help their community become a more sustainable place to work and live.
2020 Ford College Community Challenge Winning Projects
University of Essex: Essex
The Enactus Essex team created Heart of Nigeria as a social enterprise to help women in Lagos, Nigeria learn additional skills to start a business. Through this project, the team discovered that although most of the women have the experience needed to develop and launch an idea, over 60% are unable to access funding through financial institutions and are therefore unable to launch their businesses. Heart of Nigeria will work with women seeking to commercialize the traditional food of smoked fish. Through the program, women are trained in business, marketing and e-commerce. In order to sustain the no-cost training for program participants, graduates will be required to contribute 10% of their income to help Heart of Nigeria train and empower future women.
University of Exeter: Exeter
The Enactus Exeter team at the University of Exeter continues to focus on environmental sustainability in Africa. Project BioSmart was designed to build furnaces that make biochar briquettes. When burnt for fuel, the biochar briquettes produce 50% less carbon than coal. Since the team is based in the United Kingdom, the Enactus Exeter team works with local women and local charity Friends of Kadzinuni in Kenya to both produce and sell the biochar briquettes. Beyond the direct environmental benefits when families use the biochar, women that participate keep all the income generated by the sale of the product which drives social mobility for the community.
University of Southampton: Southampton
The Enactus Southampton team created the company Future Brew with the mission to empower individuals to become changemakers by reducing food waste. As a zero-waste company, Future Brew uses sustainable methods to reduce food waste by partnering with local bakeries and local supermarkets to collect food that would otherwise go to landfills. Of the food collected, 20% gets resold at a discounted price and 80% is donated to a homeless shelter. The bread that is collected is kept by the Future Brew team and turned into beer which is made available for purchase at pubs on campus. With every pint purchased 160g of CO2 is saved from being emitted into the atmosphere. In order to empower individuals to become changemakers, the team is planning to host sustainability workshops at local schools. Participating students will be able to leave the two-hour workshop with simple steps to create change both at home and in their community.