When it comes to shoes, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is style or comfort. For young entrepreneurs at Georgia College, shoes bring to mind a way to give support to families in need.
Entrepreneurship students of Georgia College’s program, Enactus, are selling handmade shoes from Peru to support poor children of the region. The high top sneakers, called Phuyupata, are made of manta, a traditional coarse textured fabric that originates from South America. Throughout the semester, students in Enactus have set up tables on campus, promoting the business opportunity and accepting pre-orders for the product.
Enactus is an international nonprofit organization that brings together students, academic and business leaders who are dedicated to using entrepreneurial action to improve the lives of people in need. The experience not only changes the lives of others, but it helps students develop the kind of talent and expertise needed in the business world.
“We’ve been working on the project all semester, and so far it’s been a very rewarding experience,” said Enactus treasurer, Eduardo Burkard. “Not only does it give us real life business experience, but it also gives us a chance to help children in need.”
As treasurer, Burkard has received hands-on knowledge in managing money from all ends of the business spectrum, including making bank deposits, overseeing orders and writing out checks for the group’s account.
“These students are committed to making an international impact,” said Dr. Renee Fontenot, faculty adviser in the School of Business. “They are gaining the necessary skills needed for small business ownership while engaging in community outreach.”
The group meets every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. to discuss an assortment of projects that are designed to help people locally and internationally. Currently, members are preparing to meet with Georgia College’s President Dr. Steve Dorman to discuss various ways in which they can expand their ideas beyond Baldwin County.
“Last year, our students were able to network with buyers and hires during an Enactus regional meeting in Atlanta,” Fontenot said. “We plan to compete on the national level next year because our students are really making a difference.”
Thus far, 60 pairs of shoes have been ordered and are still selling. They are available in sizes 4 to 12 for both women and men. Color choices include black, brown, gray, blue and orange.
For more information about Phuyupata shoes, call (478) 696-0469 or (912) 399-7607.
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