Coker College international student Henrik Hellbe (class of 2018 from Stockholm, Sweden) is one of 150 selected from Enactus’s 457 teams nationwide to participate in the BNY Mellon Enactus Student Fellows Program. Henrik is a business administration major with concentrations in marketing and economics and a member of the Coker men’s tennis team.
“I’m very interested in getting into brand management or brand development,” says Henrik. “That’s something that’s really intriguing. I still want to be in the development process, like I’ve done here in Enactus...starting projects and coming up with new ideas.”
Enactus is an international organization that connects student, academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. Coker College’s Enactus team was named one of the top 12 in the nation at the Enactus United States National Exposition held May 21-23, 2017, in Kansas City, Missouri.
The BNY Mellon Enactus Student Fellows Program is comprised of an elite group of college students (less than 1% of Enactus student members are selected to participate each year) and is designed to help top Enactus students strengthen their capacity to create and deploy higher quality projects that have sustainable impact and to better prepare the students for successful careers. Selected students have to be a returning Enactus member and have leadership experience.
Henrik joined Coker’s Enactus team in 2016 because he was looking for something new to break up his usual routine. “I looked into getting more involved rather than just tennis and classes,” he says.“I’d previously been involved in creating websites and being a little bit entrepreneurial on the side, so that’s why I joined.”
The BNY Mellon Enactus Student Fellows Program is a year-long intensive that is online and self-paced. In addition to earning a project management certificate (Henrik has already earned his), participating students receive special recognition onstage at the National Expo 2018 in Kansas City and will have a chance to mingle with CEOs and other business leaders and entrepreneurs.
When Henrik joined Enactus, he immediately started off as a project leader. He says, “I had a hard time finding projects so I decided to start my own. The Myanmar project came to be because my friend who's been working in human trafficking in Dala,...I reached out to her and she got us in contact with the local NGO….And they reached out to us with one of their biggest needs [clean water].”
In August 2017, eight Coker College Enactus student members, along with team director Gabe Mens, traveled to Myanmar to install aquaponics systems in an effort to increase the income of some of the country’s poorest citizens.
It was definitely trial by fire for Henrik. “My role was basically making sure we could actually go there, so setting up the contacts with the local NGO,” he remembers. “[We] fundraised $12,000 within three months.”
Henrik’s role in Enactus this year is head of project operations. “If a project is struggling, I’m supposed to step in and help,” he says.
The BNY Mellon Enactus Student Fellows Program is helping him in his current role within Enactus. “You get a lot of project management material,” he says. “That’s the big thing––getting access to all the different strategies, different tools...I’m trying to bring the essentials to our project leaders while working closely with them.”
Henrik is hoping to get elected to the presentation team for the upcoming national Enactus competition in the spring. (He was on the presentation team last year that made it to the top 12 in the nation.) He wants to see his team finish in the top four this time around.
“It’s Gabe Mens’s last year as the program director [for Coker Enactus],” says Henrik. “We’re both trying to leave on top.”