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Hartnell Student Business Club Wins Fourth Consecutive Regional Championship

May 1st, 2010

On May 11, a group of Hartnell College students hope to be in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to vie for a national championship of Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE. The college club’s opportunity to advance to the nationals was secured in April by winning its fourth consecutive regional championship.

SIFE’s competitions require college and university-based clubs to make compelling and cogent oral presentations to leading business executives that demonstrate the group’s year-long program of activities that advance entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and environmental sustainability by teaching market economics, success skills, and business ethics. Each group must demonstrate that it has engaged in significant outreach activities that have reached a large number of people whose lives could be improved by the group’s teachings.

Hartnell SIFE’s activities have had a global impact this year. In addition to holding their third annual business expo, taught in English and Spanish, where they gave workshops for more than 250 people, and providing entrepreneurial consulting services to local businesses and organizations, they also have partnered with a local non-profit agency, Ruth’s Shawl, that attempts to improve the lives of widows in Malawi, Africa, through business development.

In Malawi, when a woman is widowed, the couple’s assets are distributed to the husband’s family. Her home, land, and savings are taken away, leaving her to care for herself and her children with no resources. Hartnell SIFE students designed a washboard that can make the chore of doing laundry in primitive conditions easier. The pilot program entails providing each woman with kits for five washboards, one to keep and four to sell. The prototype, designed and constructed by the business club, is compatible with the resources available in Malawi.

The group also has created a board game called Kid-O-Nomics, which teaches financial literacy, and has taught business and financial skills to students in area K-12 schools, among other efforts.

The team is now trying to raise $10,000 to pay for its trip to Minneapolis. For more information on the club or to make a tax deductible donation, please contact Hartnell SIFE faculty advisor, Robert Maffei, at 831-755-6744, or rmaffei@hartnell.edu.

SIFE is an international non-profit organization active on more than 1,400 college and university campuses in 48 countries. SIFE teams create economic opportunities in their communities by organizing outreach projects that teach market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial success skills, and business ethics. Their projects are judged at competition on creativity, innovation, and effectiveness.

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For more information on SIFE, including Hartnell's SIFE club, please visit:

SIFE Regional Competition Winners http://www.sife.org/usacompetitions/sanfrancisco.asp
SIFE National Competition http://www.sife.org/usacompetitions/expocompetingteams.asp
Hartnell SIFE Homepage http://www.hartnell.edu/sife/
Hartnell SIFE MySpace http://profile.myspace.com/sife.hartnellcollege
Hartnell SIFE Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=196378276398
Hartnell SIFE Twitter http://twitter.com/hartnellSIFE