Launched in: 2014
Application Timing: Jan. - March
In partnership with global nonprofit Enactus, Ford Fund invites student teams to develop ideas for innovative projects that address an unmet social need or problem in the local community – ranging from safety to workforce development to access to mobility, and more. Each year, up to four Enactus student teams are selected to receive a $5,000 USD grant to implement their project. Through this program, students use entrepreneurial action to make people’s lives better and help their community become a more sustainable place to work and live.
2019 Ford College Community Challenge Winning Projects
University of Sao Paulo – Campus, São Carlos, Brazil
The Melius project was created to reduce or eliminate problems of unemployment, access to basic education and precarious living conditions for the Em Busca de um Sonho community. In partnership with the community, the student team developed two business models: Novo Sonho Carpentry and Tecendo Sonhos Studio. The first consists of building furniture from reused pallet wood. The second is a handmade crochet studio that reuses fabric from local textile industries. Additionally, the project combats illiteracy in the community through a partnership with local schools where university students teach Portuguese and basic math in local classrooms. Lastly, the project supported the construction of sustainable houses from PET plastic bottles, a technology patented by the Enactus team’s university.
State University Vale Do Acaraú, Santo André, Brazil
The Enactus UVA Sobral team operates in an agricultural community that lacks stable waste management, struggles with food logistics and digital inclusion. In partnership with a local nonprofit, the Enactus team held workshops on the proper disposal and reuse of waste, while promoting environmental education. The team also introduced individual composters, which use low-cost materials to produce manure and natural fertilizer through the decomposition of leftover food. To reuse and reduce water consumption in homes, the team developed a greywater filter and a drip irrigation system. Additionally, the team worked on an aquaponics system to strengthen food production. To assist in the sale of food, the team started Bodega Sustentável – a fair that brings together farmers and artisans of the region, while providing income, appreciation of family farming and economic development.
UFABC- Federal University of ABC, Santo Andre, Brazil
Enactus UFABC has created an individualized teaching program, Alfatech, with interactive activities that give children a new method of learning. Alfatech reduces illiteracy in public school students who have trouble learning. Activities are carried out on a software platform developed by the National Institute of Science and Technology on Behavior, Cognition and Teaching (INCT-ECCE). The team partnered with the institute to improve and expand the software. They also partnered with the Coordination of Pedagogical Studies for Curricular Studies (CEPEC), which is responsible for selecting the participating schools. Each school, directed by the Education Department of Santo André, has hired two teachers to work on the project. They receive specialized training on the use of GEIC, teaching methods, and evaluation of results. Currently, Enactus UFABC is working with the Center for Mathematics, Computing and Cognition of UFABC to develop an additional program curriculum for mathematics.
UFPA – Federal University of Pará, Belém, Brazil
Minerva is a social business dedicated to reducing gender inequality and providing safe, quality home repair services for women, by women. In Brazil, over 23 million women are harassed or violated by men every year. Despite this, women are unable to hire home repair services offered by female professionals, who face challenges in marketing their services and receive, on average, 30% less than male counterparts for the same services. In partnership with a community-based organization, UFPA Enactus trains women to provide home repair services, such as plumbing, painting, etc. Additionally, the Enactus team has created a female-exclusive digital platform that registers and lists the female professionals, connecting them to female clients who need services. To encourage continuous professional qualification and economic empowerment, repairwomen undergo a gamified approach to training and income, unlocking higher percentages of payment-per-service, according to the number of completed services, client satisfaction and training certificates received. In February 2019, an alpha-stage landing page was launched, allowing registration and filtering of female professionals to begin.