Responsibility

Worth its weight in gold

11/17/2015

An expensive mobile-phone contract, a car on hire-purchase and annual membership of the hippest gym in town – young people often consume more than they can afford. Members of the student initiative "Enactus" are working to counter youth debt with the "fit for finance" game developed for schools. Haniel has been sponsoring the organisation since 2009.

Should I buy the leather jacket or save the money for a trip? Can I afford the apartment or I would I be better off renting a shared flat? How much is it and what benefit do I get in return? The players of fit for finance ask these questions and reach extremely well-considered decisions. They cover three phases: school, training and work. The game encourages young people to use their money carefully and sensibly. For instance, it reminds them to cancel contracts at the right time in order to avoid the unnecessary expenditure incurred when a contract is extended automatically. They are also taught to read the small print, as an offer often looks more attractive than it actually is. "These tips are common sense to most adults, but very valuable for young people", said Sebastian Artz, founder of fit for finance. "After all, the absolute basics aren't taught at school. We aim to change this with fit for finance!"

Offering help and advice

The Enactus team and the University of Münster came up with the idea in 2013. Since then, committed students have been continuously enhancing it. Whenever they need assistance with their projects, the Enactus members turn to Haniel. "We work on ideas with the students, give tips and feedback and support them in every project phase. For example, as required, we provide rooms at the Haniel Academy for workshops or help the team to prepare for competitions like the Enactus National Cup“, explained Lisa Giesing, a CR expert at Haniel. In conjunction with HR Director Peter Sticksel, she is on hand to assist the Enactus students as a business advisor. This support is essential to the project teams: "Advice from external parties with professional experience is a massive help and opens up new perspectives", said Artz. "As well as constructive criticism, Peter Sticksel and Lisa Giesing have always useful suggestions for improvement which have helped us enormously. It is important to have continuous contact with each other."

Sustainability as a management responsibility

With support from private individuals, the fit for finance team has managed to make its project commercially viable: the students have sold 50 games to schools in Germany to date. What is more, the media has been aware of the young business model for some time: WDR has reported on fit for finance, and Die Zeit's money magazine recently published an article. That is precisely the aim of the Enactus student initiative: to make non-profit projects commercially viable and market them so that they are ultimately self-supporting – in line with the principle of entrepreneurship. "The approach that students should deal with social responsibility in their projects while implementing a business model characterised by sustainability has much in common with Haniel's commitment to training in this direction", said Peter Sticksel. Jutta Stolle, Director Shareholders + Sustainability, is a keen advocate of the organisation: "I am impressed by the team's commitment – it results in so many projects that provide a sustainable social, environmental and economic benefit. Supporting this initiative remains a key element of our social commitment."