Tuesday, 26 September 2017, saw students from thirty-five (35) universities from across the world taking part in the spectacular Enactus World Competition opening ceremony at the Excel Conference Centre, in London. The ceremony kicked off with a colourful parade featuring participating countries. When it came time for the Midlands State University Enactus team to take to the stage, there was great elation from the crowd as the team raised the Zimbabwean flag high.
In his welcome remarks, the President of Unilever North America and Chairman of Encatus Board of Directors, Mr Kees Kruythoff noted that the participants’ objective in participating in Enactus should not necessarily be that of winning a competition, but rather, on winning a journey of transformation for life. Quoting an African proverb, he said, ‘The purpose of life is to plant trees in whose shade other generations would sit.’ Mr Kruythoff advised participants that, ‘winning a competition and walking away is not very valuable if there isn’t a story that takes you into the decades beyond’.
Enactus’s thrust is on developing entrepreneurial projects that promote socio-economic transformation in marginalized communities thereby impacting people’s lives.
The grand ceremony was preceded by a World cultural experience where participants celebrated cultural diversity within the Enactus network with students from each country sharing their national traditions and customs.
The annual event, which brings together university students, business and academic leaders from across the globe, seeks to promote entrepreneurial action and shared innovation that transforms lives and creates a better future. The competition also presents an opportunity for students to celebrate diversity in culture, the abundance of ideas as well as the synergy of cross-generational leadership. Through interaction and collaboration, participants develop strategic relationships with business people and other students from various institutions. This year’s focus is on inclusion and diversity.
Other African countries taking part in the competition include Kenya, Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco and Swaziland.
The opening ceremony ended with the drawing of time slots for the first round of competition, which starts on Wednesday, 27 September 2017. Zimbabwe, represented by Midlands State University will battle it out with Australia, Korea, Morocco and Tajikistan.