SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. Participating students form teams on their university campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. An annual series of regional and national competitions provides a forum for teams to present the results of their projects, and to be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges. National champion teams advance to the prestigious SIFE World Cup. In addition to the community aspect of the program, SIFE’s leadership and career initiatives create meaningful opportunities for learning and exchange among the participants as well as the placement of students and alumni with companies in search of emerging talent.
SIFE was established in 1975 in the United States of America. The founder of SIFE was Robert T. Davis, a lawyer from Texas. He founded SIFE on behalf of the National Leadership Institute.
SIFE was originally a regional leadership training program attended by university students who were required to teach their communities what they had learned. Eventually, these university students were judged competitively on the outcomes of their efforts. The principle remains the same today but the scope has been broadened to encompass both teaching and learning through practical application of knowledge and skills gained at university, in the wider community by means of student-designed outreach projects.
SIFE projects literally change the world through highly dedicated student teams of more than 1500 university campuses in 40 countries. SIFE offers these students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise, thereby improving the standard of living for millions in the process. Guided by distinguished faculty advisors and supported by businesses around the globe, SIFE Teams teach important concepts through educational outreach projects, including market economics, entrepreneurship, personal and financial success, and business ethics to better themselves, their communities and their countries. Each year, SIFE competitions are held worldwide, drawing together thousands of students and business leaders to pay tribute to these extraordinary educational outreach projects.