Enactus Grenfell students beamed with pride at the opening of Onsie Twosie Children's Boutique.
"I'm really happy to be here for this," said Kat Argueta-Turcois, Enactus Grenfell member, at the opening of the boutique that relies on donations from the public of clothing for small children that they sell in their store, located in the lower level of the Millbrook Mall.
Enactus Grenfell students have been involved in this project with their partners -The Community Youth Network (CYN) and Pathfinders- right from the idea development stage through to the opening.
The Grenfell Enactus Team has been working with the CYN create a social enterprise. CYN approached faculty in the business program about a year ago to help them generate ideas for how to supplement theirgovernment funding and to develop a self- sustaining budget that will allow for the continuation of the their programming. Dr. Jacqueline Walsh, business administration faculty member at Grenfell, embraced the opportunity for her students to work with an organization that was seeking a solution to a real-life problem.
The CYN worked with a few entrepreneurship classes. The involvement of the Enactus group followed. Specifically, the business students and Enactus worked on a business that includes human resources and potential revenue sources. Grenfell Enactus students also worked with CYN to help develop a social media strategy and an inventory management process. Furthermore Enactus developed essential training and delivered it to the youth who will work in the store.
"This has been an exciting project," said Alexandra Phillips of Grenfell's Enactus team. "We've been so heavily involved - even spending hours here painting the store to get it ready for opening."
The CYN is a non-profit organization mandated to assist young people in prevention and intervention including programming in recreation, alternative suspension and recreation, emergency housing and referrals to needed government agencies. Other partners in Onsie Twosie include the Pathfinder program, a Newfoundland and Labrador English School District alternate education program. The Pathfinders students have responsibilities including the management of inventory and volunteer work in the store. Full-time employees are through the Linkages and Empower NL programs.
"The youth working here will earn skills, improve their resumes and increase their confidence, " said Paul Riley, teacher with the Pathfinders program.
While team Enactus will continue to provide some guidance to Onesie Twosie, Dr. Walsh says they will be moving onto new projects very soon.
"That's exactly the point," said Dr. Walsh. "Our goal is to work with an organization and provide them the tools they need to achieve their business and social goals. Through our work on this store, we've empowered our partner organizations with the skills necessary to grow a viable business enterprise."