Oct. 12, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo Enactus team will represent Canada at the Enactus World Cup, a global entrepreneurship competition, for the second year in a row Oct. 14 to 21, after winning the national Enactus Canada competition in May.
Laurier’s Waterloo Enactus team was named runner-up at the Enactus World Cup competition last year, behind the team representing Egypt, and won the 1 Race 4 Oceans challenge, which recognizes students who are taking action to address issues facing the world’s oceans, including pollution, overfishing and climate change.
“I am beyond proud of the team this year – to have kept the momentum going through such difficult circumstances and to come out on top again – I just can’t say enough,” said Laura Allan, assistant professor in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and faculty advisor for Laurier’s Waterloo Enactus team. “It just shows again what amazing students we have and how incredibly committed they are to be making a difference in the world.”
Laurier’s team, with representatives from Laurier Enactus ventures EarthSuds, Mighty Hawks, Last20, and Smile Tabs, will compete against teams from 34 countries for the global title at the virtual World Cup competition. More than 72,000 post-secondary students from around the world have participated in regional and national competitions ahead of the global competition. Laurier’s team will also be competing again as a finalist in the global 1 Race 4 Oceans Challenge.
EarthSuds, which produces single-use shampoo, conditioner and body wash tablets to eliminate the need for plastic toiletry bottles, has been ramping up sales and production in advance of the global competition. EarthSuds has signed a deal with a New York-based manufacturer, which recently began producing their single-use tablets. Once they’re made, the soaps are sent out through fulfillment centres in both New York and Cambridge, Ont. EarthSuds is also partnering with AMZ Prep, founded by recent Laurier alumnus Blair Forrest, to sell their products on Amazon.com.
“We’re preparing for the World Cup by really ensuring that every aspect of EarthSuds is being taken care of,” said Lindsay Puls, enterprise manager at EarthSuds. “We’re building up our brand and spreading the word, but we’re also ensuring that we have a stable business, a secure supply chain and that everything is moving as efficiently as possible.”
Until recently, EarthSuds has employed adults with developmental disabilities in its production. Many of these individuals were graduates of another Laurier Enactus venture, Mighty Hawks. Mighty Hawks provides free life skills and employment training year-round for individuals with developmental disabilities. Through its “work-readiness” program, the participants gain valuable on-the-job work experience at EarthSuds. In order to continue its inclusive hiring practices after automating its production, the team at EarthSuds recently began working with Ready, Willing and Able to find jobs for the Mighty Hawks participants throughout its value chain, and its Canadian distribution partner has confirmed interest in hiring the workers.
Last20, which seeks innovative and sustainable ways to upcycle plastic waste, has developed a way to replace some of the bitumen, used as a binding agent in pavement, with waste plastic bags. They started their first pilot, paving a loading dock in Brantford, at the end of September – the first plastic pavement pilot for vehicular traffic in Ontario and the second in Canada. With every kilometre of road paved, Last20 will be upcycling close to two million plastic bags.
Smile Tabs reimagines how toothpaste is packaged, with the aim of eliminating the need for the millions of plastic toothpaste tubes that end up in landfills each year. They’ve designed single-use toothpaste capsules, encased in a water-soluble and biodegradable film.
The virtual Enactus World Cup will be held Oct. 14 to 21. The winners of the Enactus World Cup and the 1 Race 4 Oceans challenge will be announced at the competition’s closing ceremony on Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. EST. All events are free to watch and open to everyone.
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