The Flagler College Students In Free Enterprise team (SIFE) advanced to the final four and finished second at the 2012 SIFE USA National Exposition on May 24, in Kansas City, Mo.
This year's champion was Belmont University. The other final four teams included Brigham Young University-Hawaii and Valdosta State University.
More than 180 teams competed at the National Competition after moving on from 12 regional competitions this spring. Schools competing included Carnegie Mellon University, Elon University, Florida State University, Indiana University, Loyola University Chicago, Syracuse University, The University of Alabama, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of North Florida, University of Notre Dame.
Flagler SIFE also finished in first place for a $5,000 Sam's Club Step Up For Small Business award for its Meals on Wheels initiative, as well as third place for an American Enterprise Grant finish for its effort with the Black Heritage Xperience, a group trying to educate others about black history in St. Johns County.
The team worked on several projects this year including working with youth offenders from the St. Johns Youth Academy at the Haven Horse Ranch in St. Augustine, as well as finishing in the top ten of Walmart’s “Get on the Shelf” contest for its work with Jacksonville’s Veterans Farm.
"Get on the Shelf" was a contest in which the public voted for products for a chance to be carried by Walmart. The competition received more than 4,000 entries generating more than 1.1 million votes.
Together with Jacksonville’s Veterans Farm, which teaches disabled combat veterans skills to help them overcome their physical and mental barriers, and Dr. Datil Food Products, Flagler SIFE students helped redesign the product label for Veteran’s Farm Datil Salt, produced a commercial and developed a campaign to win the competition.
“Our mission was to tell the story of Jacksonville’s Veterans Farm,” said SIFE adviser Barry Sand. “Getting the product into Walmart’s top 10 really helped tell that story and disabled veterans.”
The SIFE USA National Exposition brings together the top student, academic and business leaders from around the country. Beyond the experience of the competition, the event is complete with additional opportunities for these leaders to connect. SIFE donor companies have the opportunity to recruit future talent through the career fair. Special events, such as the SIFE Executive Reception and Dinner and Top to Future-Top Forum provide unique opportunities for networking, mentorship and idea exchange.
Flagler SIFE has a history of success at the National Exposition, winning the national title in 2004 and 2009.
SIFE is an international nonprofit organization active on more than 1,500 university campuses in 39 countries. SIFE teams create economic opportunities in their communities be organizing outreach projects that focus on market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial skills and business ethics. SIFE teaches students the positive power of businesses through service learning. For more information, visit sife.org/usacompetitions/expoHome.asp, or visit sife.org.