Carnegie Mellon Press Release: May 19, 2004
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Press Release

Michael B. Laffin

For immediate release:
May 19, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Students Vie for National Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Championship

PITTSBURGH—On May 23-25, a team of Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students will compete against 180 other collegiate teams in the 2004 Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) USA National Exposition being held in Kansas City, Kansas. To advance to this national competition, the Carnegie Mellon team won the regional championship earlier this spring.

A nonprofit, international organization, SIFE believes in the power of community service and business. To help people around the world achieve their dreams, SIFE challenges college students from more than 1,600 colleges in 40 countries to make a difference by bringing the business concepts they learn in the classroom to their communities. While developing these projects, students not only see the value of helping others, they experience real-world communication, leadership and teamwork.

Carnegie Mellon's SIFE chapter is building a tradition of excellence by winning two regional championships in the last two years. In 2003, there were more than 180 teams in SIFE's USA National Exposition, and Carnegie Mellon placed 17th. Although SIFE is focused on business endeavors, Carnegie Mellon's chapter is open to all majors. Not only do these projects give Carnegie Mellon students real-world business experience, they also have a personal meaning for the participating students. Dan Hsu, a junior business administration major, says his time in SIFE has been one where he has grown as a leader and a communicator. He also believes he has helped make a difference: "It's rewarding to know I'm part of an organization that strives to improve the community and the world."

This year Carnegie Mellon's SIFE chapter had more than 152 active members who worked 8,252 hours on 11 different projects. One of their projects was a Global Economy Workshop where they developed free market lessons for 4th and 5th graders. In their annual report, students describe their goals to teach children around the world "how free markets work in a global setting and the value of cultural acceptance." Schools in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States have all used the global economy materials created by Carnegie Mellon's SIFE members. To reach a wide audience, the SIFE students created a Web site with downloadable information in five languages.

In an effort to ease the struggles of Afghan women, students contacted local businesses to sell Afghan women's crafts from The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA). By teaming with stores such as the Yellow Dragon in Squirrel Hill, SIFE volunteers raised money for an international cause by using local resources. This program was so successful that a nonprofit organization in India contacted them to begin a similar endeavor for Indian women.

In a project to help Pittsburgh entrepreneurs with Carnegie Mellon's technology expertise, SIFE volunteers worked with local small-business owner, Mukul Goel from Three Rivers Global Consulting, to revive the Pittsburgh fashion industry, a once-thriving community in the region. To accomplish this goal, they created a Web site,, for local fashion entrepreneurs. For more information on Carnegie Mellon's SIFE team, visit For information on SIFE, visit


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