We believe investing in students who take entrepreneurial action for others creates a better world for us all.” This is the mission statement of Enactus, an international nonprofit organization which has a club at Montana’s very own Rocky Mountain College. “Enactus is the business club on campus and we do entrepreneurial action in our communities.” said Hailey Fish, an RMC senior. Enactus is focused on community involvement, and also provides two very important services for students on campus. One such project, “Suit Up”, provides professional clothing for students who need it. “Anyone can come in and get professional attire from us and they get to keep it and they use it for interviews and any sort of business meeting and stuff like that,” stated Fish, who is also the co-leader for the project.
“Rock Slam”, Enactus’ other main project, involves going into all of the RMC Campus Compass classes and teaching financial literacy. In an age where many people are not taught basic financial principles, this is especially useful for college students. Providing financial literacy principles helps combat the terrifying reality that most college students graduate with roughly $28,000 in debt just from student loans.
Though they do great work on campus, Enactus’ main focus is on what they can do to help the greater community. A very impactful program called “Workforce Women” involves the group going to Passages, Billings’s pre-release center, and teaching women how to fill out résumés. The program is meant to inspire the women and give them confidence when applying for jobs so that they hopefully won’t relapse and end up back in pre-release, or worse.
Currently, Enactus’ main focus is a project called “Broken Glass for Working Class”, which provides job opportunities for the local homeless population, as well as working with the homeless drop in center dubbed The Hub. According to Fish, “We’re working [with the Hub] on doing crushed glass and art glass… [we want] them to employ people who will crush the glass and actually do the work so that they can learn the skills of having a job and hopefully move on past being with The Hub…[this way], they can actually go into the community and work for themselves.”
Something that has truly made this project possible is the recent grant the Enactus club received from the Ford Foundation for $25,000. This grant is specifically for the “Broken Glass to Working Class” project, and is much larger than the normal amount the club would receive. Senior Tymber States commented, “It’s quite extensive. This one’s pretty huge, and we’re one of the only Enactus groups in the country who have won
that amount.” This is put further into perspective when Fish said that, “Most grants we get are about $1,000-$1,500.” That means this grant is nearly twenty-five times the amount of an average grant. With this sizeable increase in funds available, the club is confident that they will be able to actually make an impact on the community. Currently, they’re working on getting an actual building or location that employees can work out of from The Hub, and they will be buy- ing a glass crusher and a glass tumbler. One of the reasons this project was chosen is to make Billings and the state of Montana more aware of the need to recycle glass, while also helping the homeless community at the same time.
Enactus is definitely about to make a splash in the Billings community and probably the state of Montana. Enactus is a business club, but is open to everyone. Acting advisor Karen Beiser described Enactus, saying, “Enactus provides RMC students a way to get started on their professional career while they are still in college. The best part is that for those in the class, they get to earn college credit while they make connections for the future, and help improve our community!”