Nick Barba is a natural leader in every community he is part of. Back home in Long Island, Barba is an Eagle Scout who dedicated more than seven years to community service, and still remains an adult leader of the program to this day. When Barba began his freshman year as an entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises major at the Whitman School of Management, he knew he wanted to join student clubs that would actively give back to the local community here in Syracuse as well.
Now as a sophomore, Barba is a student leader in Thrive at SU and Relay For Life. Thrive at SU works with nonprofit organizations in the local Syracuse area to bridge the gap between SU students and the surrounding community. This year, Thrive at SU worked closely with the refugee community in Syracuse with InterFaith Works. Relay For Life is an organization that fundraises for the American Cancer Society and supports communities that experience cancer and the research that goes towards one day eliminating cancer.
A firm believer in serving those in society that are more vulnerable, underrepresented and unsupported, Barba is a champion of organizing events that not only fundraise for important causes but also arms community members with the information they need to continue helping those in need.
“Fundraising can be fun but it is also extremely challenging, especially on college campuses,” Barba explains, “but the passion behind supporting nonprofits and good causes that I see amongst students here continues to inspire me everyday. We can do good. We are doing good, in every way we can.”
This year, Barba combined his desire to empower marginalized communities and his love for entrepreneurship. He founded MWBE Connect, an organization that rates Minority and Women (MWBE) owned Business Enterprises for project managers of general contractors to reach their utilization requirement. MWBE Connect is an online platform for all general contractors to more easily reach their New York State government required 30 percent utilization rate.
While MWBE owned small businesses are on the rise, resources that analyze and share this data are very rare. Barba recognized that there is a gap in networking amongst MWBEs in construction projects and realized that an easy-to-use, web based ratings and information system is an efficient solution that is also feasible and impactful.
Barba recently competed in the RvD iPrize Business Competition and is looking forward to finalizing his idea, creating a website and building a team that believes in the mission.
If you are interested in joining Barba’s team, or have any questions, email email@example.com or stop by the LaunchPad.
Photo and story by Amanda Chou ‘18, Blackstone LaunchPad Global Media Fellow
Photo by Blackstone LaunchPad Staff