Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is an international organization that promotes free market economics to the betterment of our world. On April 4, 2012, Eastern University’s SIFE journeyed to Baltimore to participate in the 2012 SIFE regional competition.

All of Eastern’s thirteen SIFE members, including Dr. Socci, attended the competition. There, thirty-seven SIFE teams from all over the region, including nearby schools like Cabrini and Messiah, came together to present projects before a panel of approximately ten judges and then participate in a question and answer session.

Eastern had six major projects to present. First, there was the Community Garden project, an on-campus garden made to promote educational opportunities and an environmentally sustainable solution to providing healthy food for the hungry.

Our team’s second presentation addressed the Shark Tank event, in which students compete to prove their entrepreneurial skills by presenting their business plans to a panel of judges. The top prize for that campus competition was $1,500.

Third, the Eastern’s SIFE team presented the Blackout project, through which the school is working to conserve energy and educate individuals about good environmental practices and sustainability.

The Blankenburg Elementary Program is the after school program Eastern students run every Tuesday in West Philadelphia. It teaches basic business and entrepreneurial skills to 5th and 6th grade students, creating lasting relationships along the way.

Finally, there is much excitement about the Gahini Library project. Evan Hewwitt (Eastern ’11) and the bishop of Rwanda are partnering to build one of the first public libraries in Rwanda. Students collected over 5,000 books and raised $1,500 for the project. The library will be opened in May or June of this year.

On a final note, SIFE at Eastern has collected a total of $11,900 dollars in grant money this year. These grants come from SIFE and our local business partnerships.

Judges selected Eastern as one of the winning schools to proceed to National competition on May 22-24 in Kansas City, Missouri. There, one team will be selected to represent the United States in the World Cup competition.

The Eastern community is very excited about all the work that has been accomplished and looks forward to this exciting upcoming opportunity for the SIFE team.  

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