On the Path of Sustainability through Enactus’ Social Entrepreneurial Action

When we look at businesses today, we judge them for how successful they are in terms of the revenue generated or the number of customers converted. However, these parameters have taken a backseat with the onset of environmental consciousness amongst citizens and the factor that has gained more relevance in the present times is whether these businesses are creating an impact in the social sphere. This is where social entrepreneurship comes into the picture. The reality of our world today is far from the rosy picture we paint in our minds and social entrepreneurship is the solution that we must seek. It essentially means creating change and impacting lives with the entrepreneurs of today for a sustainable tomorrow and this is exactly what Enactus strives to achieve.

Enactus is a global non-profit organization and the world’s largest experiential learning platform dedicated to making this world a better place while shaping the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. Enactus Kirori Mal College is a student-run team of the same that was established in 2016 at Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. With a head for business and heart for the world, it endeavors to impact the lives of the underprivileged strata of our society by uplifting and empowering them through its sustainable business models. Currently, it is operating three projects, namely Project Dor, Project Syahi, and Project JanBhoomi.

Project Dor is one of the longest-running projects at Enactus Kirori Mal College. It works with a community of migrant women from Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal to produce and sell sustainable, handcrafted, and trendy range of tie and dye products, in order to revive this 5000-year-old dying art. What makes this initiative unique is that it sells neo-ethnic and gender-neutral products, that are available in 30+ designs which are further customisable, ranging from scarves to dupattas to cushion covers. The scarves, which turn out to be defective, are not discarded but utilized in making potlis which renders Dor a zero-waste project. The project functions with the aim to empower women and make them financially independent.

Project Syahi, with its motto ‘Scribble. Sow. Save’, endeavours to tackle the problem of plastic menace by replacing single-use plastic pens with pens made up of upcycled paper. It aims to uplift a community of underprivileged women by not only providing them with a source of livelihood but also upskilling them through training so that they become independent entrepreneurs and eventually run the project themselves. Syahi pens are completely handcrafted, fully customizable, and come with a seed inserted at the rear end which can be planted and grown into a sapling.

Project JanBhoomi is an initiative that aims to combat land degradation and inefficient waste management through sustainable methods of composting and gardening. It made compost out of discarded flowers from temples, thereby contributing to soil enrichment and reduction in the unwanted waste that gets accumulated when not disposed of properly. In order to promote an organic lifestyle, JanBhoomi also sold gardening toolkits which included five high-quality gardening tools that came in a sustainable jute bag. In addition to this, the project team collaborated with the Government of Haryana to introduce to farmers the knowledge of organic farming, vermicomposting and solid waste management. This intervention was successfully carried out in 75+ villages in the Palwal district and it helped establish 150+ vermicomposting pits for the benefit of these farmers so that they were dissuaded from using harmful chemical fertilizers. We are now on the verge of launching our latest product, Terracotta Home Composters to promote effective Waste management within households.

So far Enactus Kirori Mal College, through its 3 entrepreneurial projects, has been able to carve a niche in the social impact sphere by replacing 7800+ plastic pens, reducing 48+ kgs of plastic waste, preventing the discharge of 200 million microplastic fibers, saving 44000 square inches of cloth and planting 5850+ saplings. To change the standards of our society, Enactus is not just offering a product or service but a solution that catalyzes the process of sustainable development through the values of integrity, passion, innovation, and collaboration!