Belmont represents U.S. in final round against Egypt, China, India
Belmont University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team took third place this week in the SIFE World Cup, an international competition in which Belmont SIFE represented the United States and landed among the top four teams worldwide. (SIFE is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.) The 2010 SIFE World Cup was held Sun., Oct. 10-Tues., Oct. 12 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and Belmont was competing against the national champions from 39 other countries.
Belmont won its opening round Monday and was one of 16 semi-finalists to compete on Tuesday afternoon, with the United States national champion team being awarded third place Tuesday night. Other top four competitors included India (Loyola College), China (University of Nottingham Ningbo) and eventual World Cup champion Egypt (French University).
SIFE members contribute their talents and business skills to projects that improve the lives of people in their community and worldwide, demonstrating that individuals with a knowledge and passion for business can be a powerful force for change. Once a year, the National Champion SIFE teams from around world meet at the SIFE World Cup to present the results of their community outreach projects to a prestigious group of more than 400 international business leaders. Through a written annual report and live audio visual presentation, teams are evaluated based on how successful they were at creating economic opportunity for others.
Dr. Pat Raines, interim provost and dean of the College of Business Administration, said, “The Belmont SIFE team represented the United States in the World Cup competition with tremendous poise and passion. To be selected as the third best team in the world after launching a team only five years ago is unprecedented. These students committed themselves to engaging and transforming the world and were clearly inspirational in their efforts.”
In only its fifth year, the Belmont University SIFE team competed in May against 169 other regional champion student teams from around the country and won its first SIFE USA National Championship. Through SIFE, college students around the world are discovering that “doing well” and “doing good” can be accomplished simultaneously throughout college and career.
Dr. John Gonas, associate professor of finance and SIFE advisor at Belmont, said, “I’m so proud of these students… so many of the sponsor company leaders commented about their poise, passion, and selfless commitment to their projects. I am very humbled and honored to have this opportunity to walk with them.”
One of Belmont SIFE’s projects has been working with the women of Thistle Farms, an enterprise run by residents and graduates of Magdalene, a residential program in Nashville for women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution and addiction. Thistle Farms produces, markets and sells handmade natural bath and body products. Belmont University SIFE provided crucial computer and financial training to the women and financial guidance to the organization.
In another project, SunTrust provided a $1,000 grant to Belmont SIFE to continue its work with the Access DVD, which featured a money and banking initiative that educates resettled refugees and immigrants on the American banking process. The DVD has currently been produced in seven different languages. The grant was offered to help with SIFE’s poverty initiative to educate areas of lower socioeconomic status on the dangers of predatory services. Other current Belmont SIFE projects include working with community organizations like 147 Million Orphans, 100 Kings and The Green Wagon as well as creating educational children’s books on sustainability topics.
In addition to competing, the Belmont students had the chance to socialize with students from the other national champion teams at a Cultural Fair, as well as the opportunity to meet some of the world’s top business leaders.