Integrating Enactus into Your Course

October 6, 2020

Numerous Enactus teams have strategically built Enactus into their courses with great impact.

This post will outline some of the lessons learned and will provide links to sample syllbi at the bottom.

Design to Expand Your Enactus Team Beyond the Classroom

Integrating Enactus into your course offers students the opportunity to receive credit for the work they do, which in turn incentivizes them to focus more of their time and energy into the Enactus team and projects. It can also be a built in recruitment mechanism by bringing more students into contact with Enactus.

While starting Enactus within a class can help incubate a new team, its vital that you build that team to thrive outside of the class to build momentum and sustainability.

Oftentimes, an Enactus team that is entirely based within a course gets stuck; things are accomplished over that semester but the next semester brings an entirely new group of students who are starting from scratch. It becomes very difficult to build institutional knowledge when you start from scratch each semester.

Some of our top Enactus students are seniors who joined the Enactus team their freshmen year. They have as many as six semesters of experience to build upon which places them in a great position to lead the team towards its goals. This is only possible when the core of the team exists outside of a course.

Various Enactus As A Course Models

  • Introduction / Intro Level Course:  Some schools have integrated Enactus as a 1 credit hour course that's a requirement for all business majors. This has been very successful in getting those freshmen or sophomores involved with the team early in their careers. Upon completion of the course, a significant number of students choose to remain involved with the Enactus team.
  • Leadership Course: Some schools have integrated Enactus into leadership courses with an emphasis on experiential learning. University of Florida Enactus provides some interesting insights into their structure.
  • Social Entrepreneurship / Entrepreneurship Course:  Entrepreneurship courses offer a great opportunity to align with Enactus. Whether developing new ideas, or improving upon existing ideas, entrepreneurship courses give students the ability to apply their learning.
  • Senior Capstone: Many schools offer students the opportunity to focus their efforts on a capstone project which could be the Enactus team or one of its many projects.

How to Build Momentum Across Semesters

Enactus projects almost always need to operate across multiple semesters to reach the stage of actual implementation and measurable impact.

Oftentimes, I hear professors say their entrepreneurship students rarely develop their ideas beyond the ideation phase.

When you integrate Enactus into your course, its important that your team selects at least one or two projects that will be worked on for multiple semesters.

Let's assume your Enactus course develops 10 social enterprise ideas. Ideally, at the end of the semester, the team would select 1 or 2 of those ideas to incubate in the next semester. So when designing a course its important that some portion of the course (say 60%) is dedicated to coming up with new business models while the rest (40%) is dedicated to improving upon and implementing existing business models.

This model enriches the learning experience because students will gain insights into the challenges of ideation and coming up with entirely new ideas while also gaining insights into the challenges of trying to improve upon existing models while working within a team.

Ideally, your team will improve upon its projects each semester to the point that one or more projects have achieved an exit velocity so that the project can become its own social enterprise or be acquired by a local organization that will continue the work of the project.

Download Our Sample Enactus Syllabi and Post Your Questions

In 2017, a committee of Enactus Advisors shared their Enactus syllabi and developed an Enactus course framework based on their collective experience.

Access these resources at Enactus+ through the link below. You'll also be able to post your questions regarding how best to integrate Enactus into your course.

https://plus.enactus.org/s/question/0D53n00007T3SuxCAF/enactus-as-a-course-best-practices-syllabi

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