UMKC SIFE enacts a name change

Michelle Heiman

UMKC’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) no longer exists.

On Sept. 30, its parent organization changed its name from SIFE to Enactus, a combination of the words “Entrepreneurial,” “Action” and “Us.”

“’Free enterprise’ carries different meanings in different countries,” said UMKC Enactus President Katrina Lapine, “and it wasn’t as effective in other countries as it was in the United States. It really didn’t portray what we do and what we stand for as well as it should have.”

Cary Clark, UMKC Enactus adviser, announced the name change on Oct. 30 at the end of a “kickoff” event at the Kauffman Foundation.

“The backbone of our organization is applying our entrepreneurial skills to address a need in the community,” Lapine said. “There is no better foundation to have supported that than the Kauffman Foundation.”

Since the global organization announced the name change back in September, the students were aware of the change before Clark’s announcement about the UMKC team.

“UMKC has one of the largest teams,” Lapine said. “We wanted to make sure the announcement carried the weight our team name does.”

The team left Oct. 5 for a China trip, its third, that lasted until Oct. 13.

“We usually have a China debriefing when we come back and are able to tell what we accomplished and what we did,” Lapine said. “This year was especially special because we went with the Edgar Snow Foundation, and their symposium is only in Beijing every four years.”

Among those present at the kickoff event were Bloch School Dean Teng-Kee Tan, UMKC Foundation President Murray Blackwelder, Chancellor Leo Morton, Councilman Scott Wagner, Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation Vice President John Phillips and Dr. Dolly Plaster Clement, executive director of the Robert W. Plaster Foundation and daughter of Robert Plaster, the namesake of the Enactus headquarters building in Springfield, Mo.

Lapine reiterated Clark’s statement about the name change – nothing else changes with it.

“No matter what the name, you’re in the presence of students … who will continue to bring recognition to UMKC and the city of Kansas City,” Clark said.

Lapine is hopeful for the future of UMKC Enactus.

“This year’s future looks like being in the top 20 at nationals, which will be in Kansas City again this year,” she said. “Enactus is a great addition to the Big 5 Initiative of making Kansas City the most entrepreneurial city. If you combine the Bloch School’s efforts and Dean Tan’s efforts, it’s a really cool mesh of three people with similar goals.”

The name change and re-branding process will be worth it, according to Lapine.

“Overall, I think it’s a wonderful thing for the organization’s future, and I’m really excited to see where it takes it even after we all leave UMKC,” she said.

Clark said the team will immediately begin a “very aggressive” branding and marketing program for the name change.

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