Belmont University announced today that its Students in Free Enterprise Team (SIFE) recently won first place in the southeast regional SIFE competition in Atlanta. This marks the chapter’s third consecutive win. SIFE is an international organization that mobilizes university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. The Belmont team won its league, which comes with an invitation to nationals in May in Chicago and a $1,500 prize. In addition, Belmont was the only school in the Top 20 project competition to win for three projects and will receive $1,000 per project win.
Dr. John Gonas, assistant professor of finance and the Sam Walton Fellow responsible for coordinating the projects and preparing the students for the regional and national competition, said, “We are very grateful to have developed and maintained such deep-rooted community partnerships over the past three years. The corporate sponsors of SIFE have continuously awarded us – embracing and validating the meaningful and sustainable changes we strive to make in teaching entrepreneurship, financial literacy and life skills within the greater Nashville community. I am amazed at the transforming effect of a successful SIFE project – especially in how it can engage the community partner to gain a sense of ownership of its newly acquired knowledge while simultaneously blessing the Belmont students with opportunities to unconditionally give of their time and talent.”
There are 33 Belmont students involved in SIFE for 2007-08, with 15 in attendance at the regional competition. In addition to winning its league, the Belmont SIFE team was honored as a Top 20 finalist in three separate categories: Business Ethics, for work with the student congress/ethics CEO panel/essay competition; Market Economics, for mentoring work with Burundi refugees; and Success Skills, for work developing sophisticated success skills in operational management and design at Thistle Farms.
SIFE is an international, non-profit organization active on over 1,500 college and university campuses in 47 countries. SIFE students form teams that serve their communities by developing projects that take what they are learning in their classrooms about business and use it to solve real world problems for real people. The SIFE program concentrates on five areas: entrepreneurship, market economics, success skills, financial literacy and business ethics. Each year, the teams present their projects at competition where they are judged on creativity, innovation and effectiveness.