U360: Students Engaging with Small Businesses Through Sustainability

One of Manomet’s long-standing priorities has been to engage with younger generations and help raise their awareness of opportunities available to better the world around us–it’s a common theme across all of our programs.

 

That’s why we’re excited about the launch of U360, a brand-new project designed to support the growth of our Root360 small business sustainability initiative. U360 is an experiential education partnership designed to provide college students with an opportunity to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to real world scenarios by engaging with small businesses nationwide. U360 is launching this spring semester with a team of students from the University of Southern Maine (USM).

 

Managed by our Sustainable Economies Program, U360 trains students to reach out to small businesses nationwide to gather data about their business and connect them with the resources we offer that can make their businesses more sustainable and competitive.  U360 is most appropriate for students studying business, economics, and/or environmental studies, but all students with an interest in sustainable business will be able to benefit.

 

One student from the USM team said that what drew her to U360 was its approach for reaching greater sustainability in a struggling economy. “U360 sparked my interest because it aids in all three pillars to sustainability: environment, social, and governance, and at no cost to the businesses.” The student who is studying environmental and economic sustainability, and its ties to public health added “I know both U360 and the non-profit organization, Manomet, will provide me with experience and skills needed to help with my future career goals of strengthening sustainability solutions for the environment and economy, both locally and nationally.”

 

USM Students participating in Manomet's U360 Program with U360 Project Manager Lora Winslow (far right)

 

At the end of each semester, students will prepare a ‘mock sustainability pitch’ and action plan for one of their business case studies, which they will present to a panel of judges from the business community. “The students are really enthusiastic and eager to learn from the businesses they’ll be engaging with,” said Lora Winslow, U360 project manager. “It’s exciting to provide the students with exposure to real world businesses who are questioning how to balance sustainability with running a successful business. These students will be able to spread the word about Manomet’s commitment to helping businesses move closer to the triple-bottom line, while gaining valuable experience outside the classroom.”

 

If you have questions about U360 or would like to discuss bringing the program to a college near you, please contact Lora Winslow at lwinslow@manomet.org.