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Fighting for Our Hometown

A new paradigm for economic and community development

We read the headlines every day. Cities and towns across America have seen businesses shut down. Citizens have lost their jobs and communities are struggling to adequately fund public services. But by partnering with the entrepreneurial spirit and talent of Notre Dame’s student body, the South Bend community is solving some of these problems in a new way. Since 2012, the enFocus fellowship programhas partnered with the community to ignite change in local companies, nonprofit organizations, and public entities. South Bend native Andrew Wiand tells the story of how hometown pride inspired him to join the enFocus team, and begin to develop a scalable model for economic and community development.

The enFocus fellows are graduates of Notre Dame’s ESTEEM program, a one-year master’s program in innovation and entrepreneurship that develops a select group of science and engineering students to put their skills to work commercializing technology to serve the common good. These entrepreneurs create, shape, and deliver positive impact across a variety of public and private sectors. In its first year, the enFocus team helped save the South Bend community approximately $3.2 million. These are dollars that will support its schools, emergency services, and healthcare clinics—making life better for the people of South Bend.