WKU’s chapter of SIFE partners to improve businesses

Hannah Bushon

WKU’s chapter of Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE, has partnered with Sam’s Club in the Environmental Sustainability Challenge, which pairs SIFE members with local businesses to help reduce carbon footprints and promote sustainability.

“We assess energy costs and make suggestions to help save money,” said Kyle King, a senior from Bowling Green.

SIFE is an international organization that aims to “mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities,” according to WKU SIFE’s website. SIFE is active in 40 countries, working with more than 42,000 students world-wide.

WKU’s group received a $1,000 grant from Sam’s Club and members are putting it toward marketing campaigns, advertising and purchasing products for their clients to try, King said.

“Big businesses pay for counseling like this,” King said. “We offer it for free, and we hope to build a rapport for future projects,” he said.

Three seniors, each with specific jobs, head the campaign for SIFE.

Glasgow senior Brady Kingrey is chief financial officer for WKU SIFE and creates plans for businesses who participate with the group. Frankfort senior Jeff Sharp is project leader for the group, and King coordinates marketing and public relations.

WKU SIFE began work on its current project in late November and has been seeking partnerships since. While the group is still forming these plans for local participating businesses, Sharp stressed how optimistic the team was and how fast the project was picking up speed.

SIFE suggests products that are environmentally friendly, and more efficient, and introduces the companies to recycling centers. SIFE presents to the companies how much money would be required to invest, and what a return-on-investment would produce, Sharp said.

King said SIFE must submit its business plans to clients by March 4.

The group is already working with Chaney’s Dairy Barn, a Marathon station in Smith’s Grove and a Ramada Inn, King said.

“We give them knowledge we hope they will use even after we’ve finished the process,” Sharp said.

King said WKU’s SIFE hopes through word of mouth, and some of the participating businesses owners working closely with the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, word will spread to other businesses, and the group’s opportunities may grow.

“SIFE has an eye out to better the world,” Sharp said. “We want to help the community.