SunTrust Bank recently held an Honorary Luncheon to celebrate the achievement of Belmont University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team for winning the 2010 National Championship. SunTrust provided a $1,000 grant to Belmont SIFE to continue its work with the Access DVD project, 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 such as pawn shops, Title Max, and Checks Cashed. Click here to see additional photos from the luncheon.
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 the SIFE USA National Championship. Next up: a trip to California to compete against the national champions from 39 other countries at the 2010 SIFE World Cup, October 10 – 12 at the Anaheim Convention Center (www.sife.org/worldcup).
Through SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise), college students around the world are discovering that “doing well” and “doing good” can be accomplished simultaneously throughout college and career. Their efforts will be showcased at the SIFE World Cup, where more than 400 global business leaders will assemble to evaluate the outreach projects of national champion teams from 40 nations. They will be judged on how successful they have been at using business solutions to create economic opportunity for others.
“Increasingly people are looking at businesses in a broader context and rejecting the notion of choosing between making money or doing good,” said Mat Burton, senior vice president, SIFE. The organization attributes this shift in expectations to the rising demand for universities and corporations to remain relevant in a rapidly changing global economy.
“Belmont SIFE continues to build sustainable community partnerships that enable lasting economic change as well as personal and professional growth opportunities, both for those we serve and our students,” said Dr. John Gonas, associate professor of finance and SIFE advisor at Belmont. “Our students truly understand that they can take what they’re learning in the classroom and make positive changes in our immediate, national and international communities.”
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 (www.thistlefarms.org). Belmont University SIFE provided crucial computer and financial training to the women and financial guidance to the organization. Click here to see additional photos from Thistle Farms.
One of the teams vying with the Belmont students for the SIFE World Cup will be the University of Nottingham Ningbo SIFE team from China, which helped farmers develop a retail sales channel for ginseng crops and established a microfinance fund to ease cash flow problems. In Germany, SIFE students at the University of Mannheim created an original food delivery service to give young people valuable work experience to make them more attractive in a tight job market.
In addition to competing, the Belmont students will have 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.