Oct. 21, 2021Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo Enactus team was named runner-up at the Enactus World Cup, a global entrepreneurship competition, on Oct. 21, behind the team representing Egypt, after competing against teams from 33 countries. More than 72,000 post-secondary students from around the world have participated in regional and national competitions ahead of the global competition.
This is the second year in a row Laurier’s Waterloo Enactus team, with representatives from Laurier Enactus ventures EarthSuds, Mighty Hawks, Last20 and Smile Tabs, has represented Canada in the Enactus World Cup. Last year, the team was also named runner-up, behind the team representing Egypt.
“I’m hugely proud of the students again this year,” says Laura Allan, assistant professor in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and faculty advisor for Laurier’s Waterloo Enactus team. “I’ve never been so inspired by so much passion and perseverance. These students will continue to inspire lives of leadership and purpose for many years to come!”
Laurier’s team was named national champions at the Enactus Canada National Exposition in May after competing against 61 teams from post-secondary institutions across Canada in three rounds of competition.
EarthSuds, which produces single-use shampoo, conditioner and body wash tablets to eliminate the need for plastic toiletry bottles, has been ramping up sales and production in advance of the global competition. EarthSuds has signed a deal with a New York-based manufacturer, which recently began producing their single-use tablets. Once they’re made, the soaps are sent out through fulfillment centres in both New York and Cambridge, Ont. EarthSuds is also partnering with AMZ Prep, founded by recent Laurier alumnus Blair Forrest, to sell their products on Amazon.com.
Until recently, EarthSuds has employed adults with developmental disabilities in its production. Many of these individuals were graduates of another Laurier Enactus venture, Mighty Hawks. Mighty Hawks provides free life skills and employment training year-round for individuals with developmental disabilities. Through its “work-readiness” program, the participants gain valuable on-the-job work experience at EarthSuds. In order to continue its inclusive hiring practices after automating its production, the team at EarthSuds recently began working with Ready, Willing and Able to find jobs for the Mighty Hawks participants throughout its value chain, and its Canadian distribution partner has confirmed interest in hiring the workers.
Last20, which seeks innovative and sustainable ways to upcycle plastic waste, has developed a way to replace some of the bitumen, used as a binding agent in pavement, with waste plastic bags. They started their first pilot, paving a loading dock in Brantford, at the end of September – the first plastic pavement pilot for vehicular traffic in Ontario and the second in Canada. With every kilometre of road paved, Last20 will be upcycling close to two million plastic bags.
Smile Tabs reimagines how toothpaste is packaged, with the aim of eliminating the need for the millions of plastic toothpaste tubes that end up in landfills each year. They’ve designed single-use toothpaste capsules, encased in a water-soluble and biodegradable film.