Enactus and Martha’s Home team up to provide opportunities for women

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  • Some of the candles Enactus and Martha’s Home created.

  • Enactus members during the launch event.

  • Interior of the Wolflin Merle Norman location.

  • Former and current project managers, T’Reya Espinoza and Eric Mesa.

  • Some of the candles Enactus and Martha’s Home created

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The West Texas A&M University national affiliate, Enactus, successfully launched their project with Martha’s Home Oct. 17, 2019. Enactus teamed up with Martha’s Home to create a business for the women that hold residence with Martha’s Home.

The ultimate process evolved into a candle creation company. Named, Martha’s Candles, Enactus, and Martha’s Home started the project three years ago to help give the women in these shelters financial opportunities. Opportunities like an established business sense, entrepreneurial leadership, and the ability to make money.

“The really exciting thing is that we’re taking this business idea and we’re planting it in Martha’s Home,” said project leader, Eric Mesa, “That way, they can hire their residents to establish job skills, work experience, and to help them transition more easily out into more sustainable employment.”

Mesa is the current project manager, but the former manager, College of Business Student Success Coordinator  T’Reya Espinoza, was present at the launch party.

“For me, it’s just really, really exciting to see, you know, from the very beginning where I dealt with,” Espinoza said, “Now it’s launched and able to buy in a store. That’s really special.”

“That was something that was always a vision from the beginning that we were working towards,” Espinoza Said.

Espinoza is Mesa’s predecessor and is proud of the efforts and outcome that Mesa and the rest of the Enactus team have produced.

“I remember voting for Eric to be the project manager of the Yellow City project,” Espinoza said, “I felt that he would put in the hard work and take it exactly where it needed to go.”

Like any student-run organization, Enactus has advisors that assist the students where needed.

Clinical Assistant Professor of Decision Management & Miller Professor of Entrepreneurship Dr. Marisa Crisostomo is one such advisor:

“Enactus is an entrepreneurial organization within the College of Business, but we accept all majors. We need it,” Crisostomo said.

“What the students are currently doing is training the women on how to create the candles and proceeds from the candle sales go towards paying the women,” Crisostomo said, “…so not only are they getting some supplemental income, but it also goes towards Martha’s home.”

Crisostomo finishes with, “Martha’s home is a great project for students to get involved in because it’s some hands-on learning.”

One of the other advisors, professor of finance Juan Gallardo, was also present for the event.

“The ultimate goal of the business is to create revenue for the home,” Gallardo said, “…as well as employ the women of Martha’s home and provide them with an additional source of income that they can use to either go to school, purchase some supplies, or live off of basically.”

The project was one of the first businesses that Enactus built from start to finish, according to Gallardo.

“I think it’s just a great opportunity for our students actually to see a business being built in the process,” Gallardo said.

During the event, I wondered why Enactus chose to make candles? Thankfully, Professor Gallardo helped shed light on the topic.

“They’re easier to make than anything else,” Gallardo said, “When the candle started, there wasn’t any local candle company at the time. There is now.”

The candle production also isn’t time-consuming, and the profit margin is.

To finish, Gallardo parts with, “It’s even better that it’s Martha’s Home. We’re not making any profit. Martha’s Home’s taking all of it, and the woman get paid. So it’s just amazing.”