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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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June 4, 2012

UNL SIFE Makes Big Splash at SIFE USA National Competition

The UNL SIFE Team finished strong at the SIFE national competition held in Kansas City, Mo., May 22-24, as they were named first place winners in their league receiving a $1,000 award. The team was also awarded the “2012 Walmart: Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Partnership” with first place prize money of $5,000. The money will be used to increase the impact of ongoing UNL SIFE projects in the local and global communities.

In all, 22 team members, two Sam Walton fellows, one entrepreneurship instructor and several UNL SIFE alumni made the trip to Kansas City.

The UNL SIFE Presentation team presented four projects and information on their two student owned and operated businesses: SIFE Sales, an online e-bay business and Daily Drip, a coffee shop both housed in the College of Business Administration. All profits are used to fund the following UNL SIFE projects:
  • Lighthouse: “Turning at-risk youth into entrepreneurs” – UNL SIFE employed six high school students at the UNL SIFE Sales business and trained them the fundamentals of an online resale business.
  • Community Crops: “Empowering low-income and refugee farmers” – UNL SIFE empowered 27 farmers by teaching lending, banking, marketing and business techniques. They also helped the organization, “Fox Run Farms” with branding and financial systems.
  • Start Something: “Addressing Poverty and Hunger on Native American Reservations” – UNL SIFE helped educate and empower Little Wound High School students to secure grants to fund the first ever music program on their reservation. Twenty families were given the knowledge, training, supplies and tools needed for 20 garden sets increasing extra family food source and income.
  • Courage to Conquer: “Providing in-home support for moms with cancer”– 45 Sunshine Baskets were given to newly diagnosed cancer moms and UNL SIFE acquired the “LisaMom Foundation” providing nannie services, meal donations, house cleaning, and transportation for errands.
The team also started “Salvage” by empowering HIV/AIDS women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka to sell their jewelry made from recycled materials in the United States. All proceeds are returned to them.
The result at the national competition followed an earlier success at the SIFE regional competition in April, where the team was named champions of their league.

SIFE is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. Participating students form teams on their university campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. An annual series of regional and national competitions provides a forum for teams to present the results of their projects, and to be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges.