Springfield is home to the world headquarters of Enactus. The organization, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise or SIFE, is on 1730 campuses around the world and has 72,000 student members. Its mission is to engage the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders to use innovation in business principals in order to improve the world.
"This is about creating a better and more sustainable world," said Julie Carver, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Enactus.
If you’ve driven down Interstate 44 in Springfield, you’ve seen the former headquarters of Enactus. It’s a multi-story building that was surrounded by flags from around the world.
The organization has a new home, and it celebrated its new work space, in the Frisco Building at Chestnut Expressway and Highway 65, with an open house and speakers this week.
Carver said the space is innovative, vibrant and represents where they’re headed in the future.
"One of the things that this space really allows us to do," said Carver, "is it brings the team together in a far more collaborative environment in that open kind of space to really bring innovation and ideation to light, which really forms around our mission."
Dan Shewmaker, son of Jack Shewmaker who was instrumental in getting SIFE off the ground, attended the open house. He said, when the organization was getting started, organizers asked Walmart founder, Sam Walton, to sit on their board. Sam said he was too busy, according to Shewmaker, but he told Jack Shewmaker he would support him if he’d do it instead. Jack became SIFE’s first board chairman and continued to support the organization for years. The Enactus headquarters are named for him.
Dan Shewmaker said his dad would approve of the new Enactus world headquarters.
"My dad embraced change," said Shewmaker, "and, if change is for the good and the greater good of Enactus, then this new space that they have here is going to be wonderful. It's going to be the launching point for many, many more great things to come."