October 28, 2021

Montréal, Québec, Canada

The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation is pleased to announce that it has selected teams from five different universities in Canada for international cooperation projects with university teams abroad, as part of the 2021-22 Jeanne Sauvé Global Project Accelerator!

The Jeanne Sauvé Global Project Accelerator is designed to empower teams of students from universities in Canada with the resources needed to modify or expand existing projects to have an impact outside of Canada in partnership with teams from other universities abroad. This is part of a broader partnership agreement with Enactus, a global organization and community of entrepreneurial leaders who see business as a way to address social issues. Enactus Canada alone has over 3000 students, from 72 different Canadian academic institutions, who impacted over 21 380 people last year. It is part of a global network with 35 countries and over 70 000 students who impact over a million lives worldwide each year.

The Jeanne Sauvé Global Project Accelerator is set up as a way to award funding to young leaders in Canada who are showing leadership and taking action to address social issues, not just within Canada, but around the world. The award allows these young leaders to forge relationships with young leaders in other countries, and build projects and take concrete action. They are awarded in memory and honour of the late right honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Canada’s first female Governor General. She pent much of her life inspiring young leaders in Canada to strengthen relationships abroad and work together to address some of the most pressing global challenges.

This year, we are delighted to announce that the Jeanne Sauvé Global Project Accelerator has been awarded to the following Canadian teams as part of Phase one of this selection process this fall:

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (Ra Solutions)

Ra solutions has been Enactus BCIT’s capstone project for the last three years and has seen positive distribution progress in the last year with consideration to the global pandemic. Ra solutions is a solar dehydrator that allows farmers to dehydrate otherwise wasted produce and sell it back into their local markets to create a secondary revenue stream. These dehydrators’ function using only the power of the sun and can be used in warm climates where there is adequate sunshine. Over the last year they have finalized their iteration of the dehydrator and gotten them into the stages of manufacturing and distributing to farmers in Guatemala with the help of their NGO partners, Seeds for Harvest.

Fleming College (Paddy Waste to Income)

Working with farmers in Punjab and Haryana (two states in India), they are empowering farmers to switch from burning paddy (rice) waste, to collecting and selling paddy waste as a new stream of income while making a positive impact on their environment. Due to the limited timeframe in which farmers must harvest and remove the paddy, they often resort to burning the waste to clean their fields. This annual burning creates serious pollution problems in the region, kills the nutrients in the soil and causes serious health problems for the locals. This problem can be solved with the creation of a cooperative which would purchase simple farming equipment to bail the stubble and sell the waste to buyers who use it as raw material. This project creates alternatives to burning by solving the logistical problems, acquiring machinery buyers’ negotiation. Paddy Waste can be used as raw material for producing fertilizers, natural gas, paper, cardboard, compressed wood, furniture and much more. Their team has developed a sustainable business model that can be implemented in cooperation with a local village called Kharkuwal ini Punjab and the buyer A2P Energy for processing minimum of 150 tonnes of paddy this harvest season, 2021.They are in the prototype phase of this project where a small pilot is being implemented in Kharkuwal, Punjab. Their aim at this stage is to gain the trust of the farmers, community, buyers, and other stakeholders and put the plan and logistics to the test of implementation so that they can tweak their business and logistics models. Upon success of the pilot, they will plan to expand the scope of the project to serve other villages around western India.

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (Project Jal)

The mission of NAIT Project Jal is to educate inhabitants on potable water filtration systems within extreme poverty areas of New Delhi, India. Their vision is to teach the inhabitants of the slums entrepreneurial skills to build and maintain water filtration systems to develop a sustainable income.  According to Prasad1(2019), there is a population of 17 million in New Delhi and water insecurity affects 3 million low income inhabitants in surrounding areas. The use of contaminated water causes many serious diseases, which contributes to higher mortality rates, lower school attendance, further economic inequality, and poor health (Prasad, 2019). This team from NAIT is working in collaboration with Project Adva located in New Delhi through Enactus Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women. They currently have a completed water filtration prototype. However, they were looking for a partnership that could provide additional resources (market, cost reduction, further testing) and face-to-face support to develop credibility and a community asset-based business plan in the community. This team of students from NAIT has access to the additional resources required and can provide a Canadian endorsement to their project which assists in establishing trust in the product.

Saint Mary’s University (Square Roots Bundle)

Square Roots Bundle works to reduce food waste and food insecurity by connecting fresh produce that would otherwise be reploughed into fields to customers in need of healthy produce. Their goal is to connect food that would be wasted with customers to keep food out of landfills, which negatively impacts the environment through CO2 and methane emissions. They do this by purchasing seconds produce (i.e., vegetables and fruits that are too “ugly” for grocery stores but are perfectly healthy) from farms and provide them to customers at affordable, below-market prices. They use a social pricing model to sell their bundles at $10 or $7.50 for10lbs of fresh produce. Their social pricing model accommodates a variety of economic situations where customers can pay $10 for a bundle if they can afford it or $7.50if they cannot, no questions asked, with the $2.50 difference going to the community manager. During the pandemic, they introduced a free bundle model for those impacted by the lockdowns.

This inspiring team from SMU now plans to partner with different Enactus teams around the world to implement similar programs in other communities. Each community and demographic have a specific economy and agriculture practices; therefore, partnering with the target community’s Enactus team to implement a Bundle program specific to their region will improve the long-run sustainability of each location. They will provide the new location and team with support and information about the basis of Square Roots Bundle. Then they will work with the team to do research on potential farms and seconds produce opportunities in their area. They will work to provide support for the team and new location as well as sponsor the costs of the location’s first bundle drop to prevent the implementation of the program from costing the new location money from their own organization. Their partnership with Enactus Zimbabwe has allowed them to collaborate on establishing their first Square Roots Bundle location in Africa in 2020. They plan to support the operation expansion of their project. By working with them to establish a sustainable delivery model for their customers, the team from SMU hopes to expand the project to reach more people in their community.

University of New Brunswick – Fredericton (Rocket Trade)

The overarching goal of Rocket Trade is to teach students and youth about financial literacy. The team of students from UNB wants to create an environment where there is no inequality when it comes to trading on the market or managing one’s personal finance. Many gurus teach strategies that will crash an individual’s bank account by telling them that they can make money quick, which is not usually the case. Rocket Trade wants to level the playing field by providing everyone who goes through our program or subscribes to our monthly membership, with honest knowledge that will produce real results. While providing Finance knowledge, they are providing students a platform for students and young people who want to develop their skills (coding, marketing, editing, graphic design, etc.). People from all over the world can work on their skills by helping them provide financial information to the public, who in their turn, also learn to manage their own personal finance.

The team from UNB is innovating to pivot towards outsourcing their website this year to computer science students in Lebanon to enable them to gain real work experience that they can use towards their degree. They are also providing students in Lebanon and India information and work experience in computer design, web development, editing, researching, blog-writing, and social media management.

Université de Sherbrooke (GCIUS)

According to a WFP study, 42% of Beninese live in borderline food security conditions, leaving them vulnerable in the event of severe or frequent food shortages. The Collines department is the third region most affected by food insecurity in Benin, affecting more than a quarter of households. This is what lead Sylvain Agbani to start: “La Ferme Espoir”, or “Hope Farm” on two hectares, with four pigs and 500 roosters.  The farm extends over more than  twenty  hectares  where multipurpose agriculture is practiced. M. Agbani aims to make a learning center out of La Ferme Espoir, where sustainable agriculture becomes income-generating.  Currently, three  students  from  the  extracurricular  and  entrepreneurial  training  center  have  already undertaken their training on the farm. La Ferme Espoir wishes to achieve energy autonomy and a sustainable water supply, through the installation of solar panels and an irrigation system fed by recycled water. These would allow the growth of agricultural outputs, profitability, as well as reception and training. Ultimately, La Ferme Espoir hopes to become a model of excellence in the agricultural field of Dassa-Zoumé region. The team of 7 students from the Université de Sherbrooke, composed of 3 engineering students, 1 entrepreneurial student, 1 environmental student, 1 political science student and 1 geomatics student, is financing and designing this project. From January to March 2022, they will be building and supervising the work on site while respecting the Canadian Government’s and University’s Covid-19 sanitary instructions.

Throughout this project, they will collaborate with students from the University of Benin in Africa to exchange on work methods, accessible construction materials and future technological development. They also aim to empower young students from the extracurricular and entrepreneurial training center to promote and reproduce the Ferme Espoir’s concept outside of Dassa-Zoumé. Their goal is to keep collaborating with these students in the long term to find new methods to address the food crisis in Benin. They wish to see future WFP studies reporting less and less Beninese families living in a borderline food security environment.

A warm congratulations to the hundreds of young leaders on these teams from these five Canadian universities!! We are so proud to support you and your work inspires the next generation of leaders. We wish you the best of luck in carrying out these projects this year. Bravo!!