STUDENTS IN FREE ENTERPRISE (SIFE)

Daily Point of Light # 2736 Jul 30, 2004

The community service philosophy of Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) demonstrates a commitment to achieving incredible and lasing impact. SIFE students lend hands rather than handouts, providing the training necessary for citizens to lead independent, successful lives. SIFE teams in more than 875 colleges and universities across the United States develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing, and teaching the principles of free enterprise.

SIFE was founded in 1975 as a nonprofit organization whose goal was to improve the quality of life and standard of living around the world by teaching the principles and values of free enterprise. Working in partnerships with business and higher education, SIFE organizes and motivates teams of university students who teach others an understanding of these principles.

Distinguished faculty advisors guide SIFE teams. The teams conduct educational outreach projects throughout the academic year and are given the opportunity to showcase these projects at competitions. Through oral, audio-visual and written summaries, SIFE Teams present projects to judges. The judges, all top domestic and international business leaders then determine which teams did the best job teaching and equipping others with the tools necessary for success.

SIFE Teams work to demonstrate connection building within communities. One California SIFE Team implemented a successful welfare to work plan for single mothers. A South Dakota Team seminar educated seniors citizens against falling prey to fraud. SIFE does not mandate the curriculum or project implemented by teams. The only requirement is the projects relate to free market economics, entrepreneurship, financial success skills or business ethics.

SIFE Teams use innovation to help teach others to be productive successful citizens. The team data sheets show that SIFE programs have reached approximately four million people last year alone. The Wall Street Journal states, “SIFE is offering a lesson all good managers should help to teach: that business is a part of the fabric of every community, that it is a skill that needs to be learned by everyone to some degree in order to survive, and that the smallest venture can have world-wide reach.” (Carol Hymowitz –1-14-03).

SIFE’s mission is to give it student members the best opportunity to make a difference. SIFE is taking the youth of today and turning them into our leaders of tomorrow.

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