The University of Findlay’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) recently received a $1,500 grant through the Sam’s Club Step Up for Small Businesses program. The program allows SIFE teams and Sam’s Club associates to work together to help small businesses improve their business and environmental practices.
As one of 175 teams in the nation to receive the grant, UF’s SIFE is partnering with the Sandusky, Ohio, Sam’s Club to help two Findlay businesses improve their environmental practices.
The SIFE team met with The Rig management and a Sam’s Club representative and created a plan to make The Rig more eco-friendly. They will use the grant money to replace The Rig’s disposable plastic cups with reusable plastic cups that can handle high heat from dishwashers and are working toward helping The Rig find an environmentally friendly way to recycle its food oil. The group has not yet identified the second local business to receive their assistance.
Abdullah Alfouzan, grant project leader and senior computer science major, says that working on the project has allowed him to utilize the business skills he has learned in his classes and through his involvement with SIFE.
“As project leader for this grant, I have used my skills by identifying small businesses to work with and establishing the connection between that business and Sam’s Club as well as planning, budgeting, filling out the grant application and other paperwork,” said Alfouzan.
In April, the team will present its final impact report to a panel of judges in Chicago. The judges will select eight teams to win an additional $1,000 and three top teams to win grand prize awards of up to $5,000.
Alfouzan says that the project will impact the community and empower the small businesses it is helping.
“The message that this grant is trying to promote is that living green is not only good for our future environment, but recycling and using the proper energy-saving appliances can really save small businesses a lot of money too,” said Alfouzan.
By Katie Baumgart