CityU Enactus Team Develops Solution to Help Community
City University of Seattle is excited to announce that its Enactus team is partnering with Uplift Northwest to develop a startup company in which homeless people in Seattle are trained and employed to clean up graffiti. Enactus is a student organization that brings together college students, academic professionals, and industry leaders to focus on a shared mission of creating a more sustainable world through entrepreneurship.
Based on a needs assessment analysis, CityU’s Enactus team determined two of the main issues currently impacting the Seattle community: homelessness and graffiti vandals. The team developed Project Clean Up to simultaneously address both issues. Their project studied the correlation between graffiti and crime rates – both of which have increased in Seattle since the start of the pandemic. The rates of homelessness have also increased due to the pandemic and rising inflation. By training and employing homeless people to clean graffiti, the Enactus team is developing a sustainable and more long-term solution to both problems.
“I love doing what I do in Enactus and seeing how it makes difference in the community,” said Harry Jinwala, CityU student and Enactus CleanUp Project Leader. “It’s such a great experience to be able to apply the concepts that I’m learning in my classes at CityU to real world business scenarios that are having positive impacts in our community.”
CityU’s Enactus team won first place in the National Finals for the Early-Stage Competition for their project idea. The project is being funded by a $25,000 Metropolitan Improvement District and a $50,000 grant from the National University System, City University’s parent company, to serve the Belltown United neighborhood as part of this pilot program. With this funding and, the pilot project has officially launched in Seattle.
“We are so proud of the work that the Enactus team accomplished. Leading up to the competition, the team met with city officials, Uplift Northwest, and cleaning supply companies to develop a budget, business plan, and training opportunities. They worked around the clock to put their business plan into action, and I am so impressed with the work that they have done and all that they have accomplished,” said Dr. Kathy Cox, Associate VP of Strategic Partnerships and Enactus Faculty Advisor. “We are very excited that the impacts of their project are finally coming to fruition as we are now in the process of training individuals to use the tools and to begin the graffiti removal.”
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