{Media Partnership} How the SIFE World Cup rewards social-ecological entrepreneurship

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Copyright:  Images from SIFE.

That ethics and business go hand in hand, is increasingly important in times of banking crisis and globalization. Nevertheless, sustainability often functions only as hollow phrases, as a thinker for profit thinking. Does not have to be, finds the non-profit organization SIFE - and awarded at an annual World Cup sustainable student economic projects. Yesterday was the first time a German Team won!


Here writes for you:


Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Instituts Berufebilder Yourweb.


What is SIFE?

1975 was founded by SIFE as a non-profit organization in the US Today, around 48.000 students worldwide are involved in 1.500 universities in 38 countries.

Central events are the annual national competitions and the World Cup, in which the respective winners of the national competitions take part.

Company with social-ecological questions

Competing are entrepreneurial projects with social-ecological questions. The aim is to create sustainable economic benefits for others. For this purpose, the SIFE students work with business methods:

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They identify challenges and goals, analyze framework conditions, develop concepts for knowledge transfer, and thus create long-term independence for those who benefit from the projects.

In this way, the young students learn in practice what responsible leadership means. The initiative seeks to promote economic sustainable thinking and thus make the world a little better.

Interdisciplinary and intercultural to success

On the 12. October 2011 has now for the first time in the history of SIFE won a European team - and that of the University of Regensburg. It consists of 50 students from ten different academic disciplines and nine nations (26 members were in Kuala Lumpur).

Team leaders are the approaching operators, Josef Plank (25) and Hans-Georg Mann (26). The jury consisted of approximately 50 international managers. But what was really awarded? A look at the winning ideas:

Microleasing in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, the SIFE team at the University of Regensburg promoted Bulgarian small-scale entrepreneurs such as carpenters or the operators of small foodstuffs that were in economic difficulties. To this end, the SIFE team in Bulgaria initially held workshops on business management principles before a total of 300 participants - four of the Regensburg team members came from Bulgaria.

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These events resulted in closer contact with some 25 small business owners. It quickly became clear that there was a great demand for machinery and office equipment such as printers, computers and mobile phones.

Therefore the team procured 90 depreciated, still working machines from German companies, transported them to Bulgaria and leaked them to the small business. In a third step these individual coaching sessions were given. One of the entrepreneurs, a carpenter, now operates an online shop and also sells his products to Germany.

Electrification and education for Roma in Romania

The project called “Integration ON” was about integrating the residents of Roma settlements near Rosia in Romania. The residents there (around 200 households) were excluded, the children without educational opportunities.

A fundamental evil was the lack of electricity in the settlements, which consist of dark mud huts - children could not do their homework there, and home businesses work only a few hours a day. The SIFE team from Regensburg worked out a solar solution that made the settlements independent from the grid. The SIFErs held discussions with German solar companies. Partners were found to sponsor 30 solar solutions for individual homes.

The systems were transported from Germany to Romania - as well as other equipment (lamps, telephones). The SIFE team specifically called for the access of Roma children to education - and for example enabled ten of them to attend secondary school by organizing sponsors in Germany to cover the costs of the bus and learning materials.

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Donate your pledge

The third project took its start in Regensburg, where the SIFE students at the end of 2010 noticed that a lot of deposit bottles were simply being put into the rubbish on the campus. The team procured bright yellow containers, which are now placed on the campus.

However, the initiative has positive effects not only from an ecological point of view: for emptying and sorting the bottles, there are four mentally ill patients who are paid for this work. Otherwise, they would find it difficult to find meaningful, paid employment.

The model was adopted by six other SIFE teams in Germany in 2011: Hamburg, Berlin, Lüneburg, Mannheim, Hohenheim and Bochum. In the long term, the project called “Donate your deposit” should be the first “ONE SIFE” project in Germany to be present at over 40 universities where SIFE is currently available.


Apart from the fact that I am surprised that the project “Donate your deposit” was adapted in Berlin, where you can be happy when no one travels the deposit bottle out of your hand (stupid joke on the side!), I think the idea is really great .

Such projects are of course only possible through the sponsorship of international companies. It remains to be hoped that the students will be able to apply their sustainable experiences later on during their professional and executive days

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