- Supplies Guide
The Belmont University Students in Free Enterprise team recently won the national championship at the SIFE USA National Exposition, earning it the right to represent the United States at the 2012 SIFE World Cup Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C.
SIFE is an international nonprofit organization that mobilizes students around the world to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.
During the 2011-12 academic year, the Belmont University SIFE team focused on 10 projects to benefit local and global communities. Students addressed issues such as job skills training, small business development and environmental sustainability.
The students’ projects include Spring Back Recycling, a nonprofit business partnership with Belmont Church in Nashville, Tenn. The enterprise employs formerly homeless or incarcerated workers to recycle mattresses, giving them an opportunity for a new life while disassembling old beds and keeping them out of the landfill. Spring Back recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. It has recycled 9,600 mattresses, which has generated 340,000 pounds of used metal, foam and cotton that can be recycled into new products. In addition to receiving mattresses from individuals and a consortium of retailers covering five states, Spring Back is in talks with the U.S. Navy to receive an additional 13,000 mattresses from two aircraft carriers.
The International Sleep Products Association worked with the Belmont SIFE team as it developed its business plan and opened operations. ISPA encourages mattress manufacturers and retailers in the Nashville area that are not already sending their discarded products to Spring Back for recycling to contact the operation and support its efforts.