SPAM FC and other soccer organizations

In 2017, Dr. Jeff, Jesse, and Elizabeth spent time with soccer players from Moreau to learn more about the importance of recreational leagues in the region and to see the field they played on. It was a long walk from the village, as soccer fields are difficult and expensive to build in the mountainous region of Bainet. The community set aside a plot of land in the village for a future soccer field, but have not had the funds or the equipment to turn it into a usable playing space. Because the village is nestled in the mountainous southern region, soccer fields have to be carved out of the hillsides, graded to the correct size and altitude, painted, and supplied with soccer nets.

After returning from this trip, we collaborated with SPAM FC to establish an annual funding source for renting soccer fields in the area while the community built a new field closer to the village. Since 2017, this Minnesota-based non-profit scholarship organization and soccer league has provided financial support to ensure that local youth and young adults have access to these spaces. With SPAM FC’s generous support, we have been able to help Moreau create community gathering spaces — for soccer, relationship building, and local commerce. We have also facilitated donations from the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association and the Park Valley United Football Club to deliver soccer balls and jerseys for the league teams.

Acara and the Institute on the Environment

Our company began as an entrepreneurship project through a Grand Challenge course at the University of Minnesota in 2016. Through the annual Acara Challenge, we were able to secure some of our first startup funding; the unending support of program founders Fred Rose and Megan Voorhees has been critical in fueling our growth from a university project to a fair trade company. We also received support from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, which prepared us to compete at the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge and the Minnesota Cup. As we grow, we are grateful to still be connected with the organizations that helped us get started and to support the next classes of students who are continuing to tackle global challenges.

Acara and the Institute on the Environment

Our company began as an entrepreneurship project through a Grand Challenge course at the University of Minnesota in 2016. Through the annual Acara Challenge, we were able to secure some of our first startup funding; the unending support of program founders Fred Rose and Megan Voorhees has been critical in fueling our growth from a university project to a fair trade company. We also received support from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, which prepared us to compete at the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge and the Minnesota Cup. As we grow, we are grateful to still be connected with the organizations that helped us get started and to support the next classes of students who are continuing to tackle global challenges.

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