▲ KU ENACTUS members at the national competition. Provided By Korea University ENACTUS
"We do not just think, we act.” These are the words of the President of Korea University (KU) student organization ENACTUS, explaining which aspect of their organization he considers to be most noteworthy. A recent project initiated by ENACTUS illustrates this ambition, tackling the issue of abandoned bicycles in South Korea. Riding bicycles has always been considered a healthy and inexpensive method of transportation for citizens, but the number of old bicycles rusting away on the streets is increasing every year. The members of ENACTUS also demonstrate their creativity and action in other projects, attracting the interest of countless KU students.
ENACTUS is a name of a United States (U.S.)-based international organization that combines the words ENtrepreneurial, ACTion, and US. The organization was founded by Robert T. Davis in an effort to improve social issues around the world through the attitudes and actions of students and business leaders. There are 37 countries in which the company operates, and the KU ENACTUS branch is a part of the South Korean division. Led by their President, Kim Dong-Bin (13’, Business Management), the KU student members work hard to complete several projects that address issues in the Korean society. They also compete in nationwide competitions and introduce the joy of being part of a passionate organization to KU students.
The three projects launched by ENACTUS this year are the New-turn Project , CommA , and BoDam ; the members work on one of these three projects and hold general meetings every week. Each student is able to make an effort to solve societal issues that either they did not think about before or that were difficult to tackle because other organizations do not tend to encompass such diverse areas of business management like ENACTUS does.
A New Turn Towards a Better Environment
According to the Seoul city government, 17,244 abandoned bicycles were collected in 2018 alone. With the rise in the number of stations for Seoul city’s rentable green bicycles Seoul Bike , many have chosen to abandon their old bicycles and ride the new and trendy ones. Many citizens had demanded that action be taken to remove the abandoned bikes, but no practical measures were taken until ENACTUS stepped in.
The KU branch of ENACTUS established the New-turn Project in November 2018 to address these concerns. Managed by Ha Jung-Wan (16’, Political Science and International Relations), this project upcycled the chains of abandoned bicycles into a tool kit called ChainABLE . The kit is available for purchase so customers can make their own gadgets and raise environmental consciousness. The profit made from the sales of these kits goes to the homeless in partnership with the social organization 2HOPEBIKE.
According to Ha, with 225 kits sold in just a month since its release, ChainABLE is receiving constant support, with even educational institutions requesting demonstration programs of the tool kit to raise environmental awareness. Therefore, the members in charge of the New-turn Project are as busy as ever. Ha shares that, “Although there were tough moments in coordinating the project, our team members always tried to create a cheerful atmosphere rather than becoming more serious.” The hard work that went into the creation of ChainABLE is finally paying off, as investors have provided about 30 million won in the hope of the upcycling project having an effect on more people.
Learning from National Competitions
Many members of ENACTUS mention that national competitions are one of the most interesting activities that they do together as a group. National competitions are usually held in Seoul and features many ENACTUS branches that are active in Korean universities. This year, the national competition was held at Yonsei University (YU) at the Centennial Memorial Hall, from July 23 to July 24. The Seoul National University (SNU) ENACTUS came in first with their innovative projects, but KU ENACTUS gained an unforgettable two days of experience, and came in third with their three projects.
President Kim states that the national competition is a meaningful competition for ENACTUS students because the unique experience usually encourages members to stay in the organization for a
longer term. Explaining that KU made the final stage for the first time since 2015, Kim admitted that the results brought him and the whole team great satisfaction in that they were able to share their progress with others. He further expressed that they also gained motivation to not settle on this outcome but to strive further to brainstorm and execute more meaningful projects.
The Delight of Being in ENACTUS
The KU branch of ENACTUS lets each member choose which of the three projects they would like to join. Kim adds that it is common for the members to conduct the entire project themselves—including idea planning, budget funding, meeting with stakeholders, logistics consultation, promotion, and accounting.
Compared to other business student organizations at KU, ENACTUS focuses on handling social values through business plan modeling rather than issues within the business sector alone. “But the most important advantage of ENACTUS,” Kim says, “is that we do not just think about a plan—we actually execute it.” Understanding that most business student organizations stop at creating strategies and conducting meetings, ENACTUS strives to take their plans miles further in all of their projects. Although there are a lot of benefits to gain from studying business cases, the experience of going into the field and having meetings with people about a project’s ideas and products is a significant advantage that can only be gained from being a part of ENACTUS.
With each new member that joins the KU branch of ENACTUS, the student organization develops into a more solid and intelligent group of students, ready to spark real change in the world. President Kim says that, “after the recruitment stage, the new members will participate in the Project Idea Competition (PIC), in which the newcomers present and launch their own ENACTUS projects.” Recruitment is open for all diligent and responsible KU students moved by the ambitious New-turn Project