George Brown College’s Enactus team aims to improve communities through entrepreneurial projects and the effects of its work are being felt far beyond Toronto.
In 2015, members of Enactus George Brown – a volunteer team of business students and faculty – established a program called Girls Going Forward in St. Lucia. The program, run out of a library in the village of Micoud, aims to help women gain financial independence through entrepreneurship. Girls Going Forward participants created a line of body scrubs made with local ingredients called Tropical Bliss.
Enactus member and third-year marketing student Adonia Vlasis oversees all of the Girls Going Forward programs, both in St. Lucia and Toronto.
“Women (in Micoud) definitely have a difficult time finding work opportunities and entrepreneurship is not often thought of as an opportunity for employment,” Vlasis says. “Our thought process was to go and tell women that this is an opportunity and you can gain financial independence doing it.”
George Brown students conducted sales, marketing and brand development training with the group in 2016. Earlier this year Vlasis worked with the group on targeting specific markets and conducted communications training. The program participants are hoping to sell Tropical Bliss products to resorts.
Kemberly Constable, a library assistant in Micoud, has been invited to an international conference to speak about the positive effects the program has had in her community. She won a scholarship funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to attend the Next Library event in Denmark in June.
Constable manages the Tropical Bliss operations in Micoud and trains new Girls Going Forward members.
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