Enactus ODU, the University's chapter of Enactus United States, has established a new social entrepreneurship initiative called Goods for Good. Through this initiative, Enactus ODU partners with organizations and companies that share the Enactus mission of improving the lives of others in a sustainable way through entrepreneurship. Using a targeted-selection process, Enactus ODU identifies potential partners for the Goods for Good initiative. Goods are procured from the partner organization and made available for retail purchase at THE Monarch Way student entrepreneurs' store.
According to Connie Merriman, associate dean in the Strome College of Business and ODU Enactus Sam Walton Fellow, the Goods for Good initiative exemplifies the beneficial circle of social entrepreneurship.
"Our initial purchase provides support for the populations served by the partner agencies, while revenues generated through sales at THE Monarch Way help fund Enactus ODU's campus and community social projects," she said.
From the early planning stages of THE Monarch Way, Enactus ODU has been responsible for all operational aspects of the store. In addition, Enactus members serve as on-site store managers, working alongside the student entrepreneurs selling their products. Many of these hours are volunteer service hours by Enactus members. The addition of Goods for Good to THE Monarch Way means those service hours are going directly toward raising funds for Enactus ODU projects.
The shift to primarily virtual classes impacted THE Monarch Way significantly. Enactus ODU decided to release the student entrepreneurs from the work hours required to participate in the store. However, Enactus also made a commitment for THE Monarch Way to maintain visibility throughout late spring and fall 2020 semesters, with Enactus members covering all open hours. That continues in spring 2021, with in-person sales supplemented by a new e-commerce site that allows customers to buy online and pick up at the store.
Akeyla Barbour Reid, transfer success coordinator and ODU Enactus Sam Walton Fellow who led the e-commerce site development, said the project was driven by a need to help ODU's student entrepreneurs continue to sell their products despite the challenges of the COVID crisis.
"The entrepreneurs put a lot of hard work into their products, and it's even more important during this pandemic for them to have a source of income," Reid said.
Information and a link to the e-commerce site are available at https://www.odu.edu/univ-impact/entrepreneurship/themonarchway,
The Goods for Good initiative is working with two partners. Aid Through Trade (ATT) is an international leader in the fair trade fashion industry, empowering the women of Nepal by creating opportunity through beautifully designed jewelry. The original ATT Roll-On glass beaded bracelets are available at THE Monarch Way. Apex Design Art is a local, minority-owned company seeking to empower others by challenging negative societal norms and promoting self-love. THE Monarch Way offers a limited selection of ADA logoed clothing and accessories from its "Brown is Beautiful" and "Creatives Over Corporations" collections.
Funds earned by Enactus ODU through sales of Goods for Good merchandise are used to support campus and community social projects, including Big Blue's Snack Pantry, Big Blue's Closet, and packs of personal daily essential items for distribution to ODU students.
THE Monarch Way store is located in Webb University Center across from the Student Health Center. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday.
For additional information, contact Connie Merriman at email@example.com.