Entrepreneurial student group takes on social issues
Carthage students drawn to the civic-minded club Enactus share a sense of purpose: to bring positive social change through innovative solutions.
Consider their work with a literacy initiative called DiversiReads. Enactus works with local businesses to extend the nonprofit’s reach by building and filling Little Free Libraries, and, in further support of the LFL network, donating children’s books so the community has free access to diverse literature.
Club members also support Cloth for Change, which makes reusable menstrual products. In many parts of the world, women struggle with limited access to hygiene care — as well as cultural taboos around menstruation.
Students sew the bags, shields, and inserts that come with a Cloth for Change kit. The campus team most recently sent 20 of the kits to India in collaboration with a J-Term study tour.
“Our goal is to help close the education gap by ensuring that menstruation does not hinder anyone from working or going to school,” says Michael Malyszek ’25, vice president of Carthage’s Enactus chapter.
The club has other big ideas, too: It’s exploring the feasibility of partnering with the College’s food service provider to transport surplus food to local shelters to help battle food insecurity in the area.
That growing momentum reflects the core values of Enactus, a global nonprofit that derives its name from the words “Entrepreneurial,” “Action, and “Us.” Chapters are encouraged to develop innovative social solutions that address any of the United Nations’ 17 global goals.
Among Carthage’s more than 130 student-led groups, Enactus was honored as Organization of the Year in 2022.
Michael says the club offers opportunities for members to hone critical thinking, project management, and public speaking skills. And a “Shark Tank” style competition has proved popular with students who are eager to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas.
“We also have a lot of executive board positions where members strive to emulate ‘real world’ professional experience,” says Michael. “Our director of external relations, who runs the Instagram account, got the attention of Enactus Global because she was doing such a terrific job.”
While many members are business-oriented, the group welcomes students from any major. All that’s required is a passion for the greater good.
Thanks to campus funding, Carthage members traveled to observe both the national competition in New York and the Enactus World Cup in Puerto Rico.
“We’re so grateful for the College’s generous support as we continue to grow,” says Michael. ”Seeing the changes that other clubs were able to enact was inspiring. We came home with a lot of ideas to build on.”
“We are always striving to be better — to be a club that really makes a profound difference in the lives of others,” he adds. “We’re building for a strong future.”