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Students expand entrepreneurial skills, networking during national Enactus competition

June 29, 2017

Contact: Michael Tullier, APR
Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing 

TU Enactus team
Enactus team members pictured with their third-place league award (front row L-R) Phillip Stringer, corporate advisor representing Pharmavite; Edward Mercado-Gump, 2016-17 vice president; Talia Lasane; Tiara Canty; Alexus Young, 2015-17 communication officer; Dominic Norton, incoming president and Energy H20 project lead; (back row L-R) Westly Whitner, project lead, Shady Grove Blueberry Farm; Phillip Grayson III, project lead, Gasifier; and Dr. Nickey Jefferson, Enactus adviser. In addition to being the inventor of the gasifier, Stringer also is a past Enactus president and 2016 TU chemical engineering graduate.

In May, members of Tuskegee University’s Enactus competition team, now in its third year, joined other teams from more than 80 other universities from across the United States in Kansas City, Kansas, to compete for the title of 2017 Enactus National Champions.

Enactus ( is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. It provides teams of outstanding university students with a platform to create community development projects that put people’s own ingenuity and talents at the center of improving their livelihoods. Enactus engages students through a series of annual regional and national competitions that provide a forum for teams to showcase the impact of their outreach efforts and to be evaluated by executives serving as judges. National champion teams advance to the prestigious international Enactus World Cup.

The Tuskegee University team focused on three social enterprises assisting small-business owners as part of the competition. The first addressed the need for clean drinking water by helping Moses Weaver of Energy H20 bring his product to market. The team also partnered with Josie Gbadamosi, owner of the Shady Grove Blueberry Farm, to revive and expand the farm’s potential, thereby empowering a female entrepreneur. Lastly, the team reported on a student-led innovative project known as the gasifier, a low-cost technology that can reduce farmers’ energy costs by providing them with a means of creating syngas that can be used to operate farm equipment.

Although the team did not advance to the international stage, it did place third in the national competition’s opening round. It also placed second in the “Nature Made Health Living Challenge,” which involved conducting informational sessions on the health benefits of mineral water and distributing 1,200 bottles of mineral water to middle-school students at Macon County’s  and Barbour-Bullock counties’ annual water festivals.

The team’s strong showing and its ability to network with other Enactus teams and business leaders in attendance were highlights of the competition, according to incoming Enactus President Dominic Norton, a senior in construction science management.

“I liked the networking aspect of the competition more than the competition itself,” said Dominic Norton, who also is CEO of Unity Mobile, his start-up mobile service company focused on uplifting and serving African-American communities. “It’s an incredible chance to meet with executives and entrepreneurs, and I liked being able to use that opportunity to advance myself professionally.”

Click on the link below to view the video:

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