Mr. Bechert, you are Business Advisor at Enactus. We would like to know why the activities of Enactus are so valuable for society and which contributions you make to them.
Who is Enactus?
Enactus is an international, politically independent, not-for-profit organisation. More than 66,500 students at 1,600 universities in 39 countries are committed to the scheme. 440 companies are supporting the organisation. Enactus is the largest network of its kind worldwide. In Germany, Enactus is present at 37 universities. Among Enactus' partners are not just enterprises but also associations, other organisations and individuals. Freudenberg has been a partner of this organisation for many years. Hanno Wentzler, CEO at FCS, has been supporting Enactus in the function of Business Advisor Bavaria for several years. It was Mr. Wentzler who brought me together with Enactus in the first place.
What is Enactus doing?
The name Enactus is derived from the verb "enact".
Enactus stands for 3 important principles:
ENtrepreneurial – using entrepreneurial thinking for small steps to make the world a better place
ACTion – proactive commitment
US – accomplish something together
It is the objective of Enactus to improve the living standard and the quality of life of people and change things for the better in the long term. For long-lasting effects, Enactus not only provides development aid, but enables people to help themselves through entrepreneurial activities.
How does the Enactus network work? And what is your role in it?
At Enactus, students, companies and public agencies are together striving for a better future of our society. Of course, the term "together" I just used fits the Freudenberg Group just perfectly.
Companies provide funding to the organisation and delegate staff to Enactus projects. Students benefit from their expertise e.g. in coachings or workshops as well as from business advisors steering the strategic focus of the project teams.
You might say that the business advisors help students help themselves so that they can then in turn help other people help themselves in their projects.
Your commitment is without remuneration. What is your motivation for supporting Enactus?
I fully identify with the objectives and projects of Enactus. This is why I care so much about supporting these highly committed young talents. By supporting Enactus, I turn my social responsibility into real-life acts. I'm always pleased to hear when projects have long-lasting effects.
So you are putting your time into the organisation, and happily so. Nevertheless, is this also linked to our company in some way? Does Klüber Lubrication also benefit from this commitment?
Of course, as a company we also take home many positive effects from our commitment. Firstly, supporters of Enactus are perceived as responsible employers. We also meet committed talents with experience in real-life entrepreneurial activities. The business advisors learn how the younger generation at universities thinks and works, which can give them ideas for their own jobs. So we have a lot of give-and-take here.
Could you give us an example of these activities? An interesting project in which you are supporting Enactus?
There are many in fact. The first which comes to mind is Townbee, of course. That is the project which we are supporting through FCS and Klüber Lubrication here in Munich. On the one hand, it serves to protect the honeybee by installing bee colonies in an urban environment, and on the other it helps in the integration of refugees by drawing on their skills in taking care of the beehives. But a project conducted by Enactus in Mannheim also comes to mind: the company biscuit of the association Lebenshilfe Mannheim. This organisation gives people with intellectual disabilities jobs. They have a bakery where they make biscuits with company logos according to customers' wishes. At Klüber Lubrication Deutschland, we loved that idea. We have had biscuits baked for us for a major event as an advertising giveaway to participants.
Would you like to know more about Enactus?
Are you interested in company biscuits?