Newsletter #12 - President's Message + COVID Tips
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ~ Ed Henderson
The impact of COVID-19 has been potent and far reaching; rising unemployment, working from home, the stock market collapse and a general feeling of malaise. How COVID-19 might have impacted a university society such as Enactus may seem trivial in comparison. Yet, for those students and myself who are involved in Enactus it offers a place of escape, creativity and the chance to deliver a positive impact in the current or future socio-economic environment. Our weekly face-to-face meetings have been halted, our service based projects from cooking to community assistance have been stopped and our much anticipated on-campus events are no longer to eventuate. Despite this Enactus has been able to live on, through transitioning to weekly Zoom meetings and thinking about how we may adapt to COVID-19. Our projects have been given that needed breathing space to design, ideate, plan, think, create and explore future possibilities for when normal interactions may resume. Some of our projects have found ways to sustain themselves through the use of e-Commerce platforms and digital marketing tools too. There has been a push for resilience amongst our projects.
This is why we hosted an internal pitch night where teams shared ways in which they are adapting to COVID-19. For Culinary Tales this has meant scoping out a cookbook to supplement cooking classes and for Bridge this has meant up-skilling students through online workshops.
There is no glossing over the fact that this is a turbulent period in the history of humanity and Enactus no doubt wishes things were back to normal. I guess the ability to recognise that this is what we've been dealt is important so that problem solving how we can all best utilise our time is crucial for keeping on.
As our needs analysis and research phase has concluded, we are hoping to finalise our project idea in the upcoming week. We can then move forward on the execution phase, including building a roadmap and vision statements for the project. We formulated two project pitches and successfully delivered them to the broader Enactus LT for feedback. Both pitches highlight effective project solutions that would improve outcomes for women affected by domestic violence. The first pitch involves a mentoring-style workshop series, while the second pitch involves a creative arts outlet.
Next Tuesday we have an exciting zoom meeting with a potential charity partnership! After recent product confirmation with our supplier, solidifying our partnership is the last step until the all anticipated business launch! Behind the scenes we are also using this time to create marketing materials, perfecting website finishes and getting a bank card. We will also look at getting an ABN soon to become a legal entity, enabling us to act in a more professional setting nationally.
Bridge will be holding our excel workshop this Saturday and hope to have at least 5 participants. We have been able to design Bridge merchandise and hope to finalise details this week.
Our goals for the upcoming week would be to define business details: Business name, contact details, gmail account, logo and to design a pilot program (need financial model, market research and response from organisations for this). Our aim is to hire one refugee for one month part-time. Therefore we need to define wages, how many of each product to produce according to those most demanded. As well as, how will the recruitment and training process occur? The past week has been busy for Project Officers as well as dealing with COVID-19's transformation in our lives.. However we are all working towards our goals of creating a financial model, sending out the survey for market research. We are dealing with this by prioritising our assessments at this time but continuing to work to progress the Refugee project when we can.
We are looking for a business name! Our project aims to provide employment stability to help refugees in Australia. Refugees employed will produce unisex crochet items such as beanies, scarves, bags and laptop bags, made with sustainable Australian material. In the future we may include other products, we are looking for suggestions on this as well as on what is a name that reflects our product and social impact at the same time?
Our goals for this week are to start reaching out to primary schools and businesses to gauge market interest and start giving out our services. We managed to achieve all of our goals for the past week.
We are trying to get more recipes to contribute recipes. Preparing for pitch night, editing text for existing pages, making design changes in accordance with feedback. We managed to submit 3 sample designs - still trying to find more refugees though.
If anyone has any connections to organisations involved in the refugee space or knows anyone from a refugee background who might be interested - please reach out to me or Teri. We would be excited to hear from them
COVID-19 - A multidisciplinary response to a global challenge
As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts from a range of fields are working more closely and innovative-ly together than ever before. Dr Cathy Foley, Chief Scientist at CSIRO, is giving a talk about the critical role of science and technology, innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit during the current pandemic.
CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency and one of the world;s largest mission driven science and research organisations - collaborating with industry, government, academia and the community. Scientists are at the forefront and are testing vaccine candidates, providing new insights given data, supporting businesses to upskill and aiding in the drive to restore Australia’s economy
Register here (May 26: 1pm)
Navigating COVID-19: Advice for Startups
LegalVision is hosting a free webinar to help startups navigate the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lachlan McKnight (CEO of LegalVision) and James Cameron (Partner at AirTree) will be talking about the following:
Business metrics to be considered during COVID-19
Extending your runway
The importance of marketing during COVID-19
Fundraising during an economic downturn.
Register here (May 28: 1pm)
COVID-19: AN ONLINE COURSE TO RESKILL
To upskill yourself amidst these hard times, Harvard has this super insightful course on Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies.
So do your entrepreneurial skills need some polishing? This six-week-long free online course under business and management will be taught by Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna, who takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and solving complex social problems. In this course, you will upskill yourself in entrepreneurship by addressing social problems and identifying points of opportunity for smart entrepreneurial efforts.
It will also help develop your own creative solutions as well as develop an awareness of the opportunities for entrepreneurship in fast-growing emerging markets.
RECOMMENDATIONS BY ENACTUS
The Naked CEO: The Truth You Need to Build a Big Life - by Alex Malley
Feel Good and Do Well by Doing Good - by Peter Milewski
1. Startup Canada Podcast
2. The Impact Podcast