Our leaders of tomorrow: Belgian youth with a non-EU background

Our leaders of tomorrow: Belgian youth with a non-EU background

Sofie Foets, social entrepreneur and managing director of TADA expresses her main concern for the purpose economy: integration. And more specifically: integration of the Belgian youth with a non-EU background. “Because these young minds can become the leaders of tomorrow”, Foets says.

As the central theme of LEADERSMEETING@PARIS 2018 is purpose economy, Sofie Foets believes that this purpose economy also means that business and societal leaders should lead by example.


“Making profit is one thing, changing society by giving the example is just as important,” says Sofie Foets, “because there are simply too many societal challenges we are confronted with, in Belgium and Europe.”


Foets refers to one major challenge in particular: the integration of Belgian youth with a non-EU background. Figures show that the percentage of disadvantaged teenagers with non-EU backgrounds that drop out unqualified – without any scholarly degree – is very high in Belgium, compared to other European countries. The could increase the knowledge gap between people with and without Belgian roots. As the percentage of people with non-EU roots is growing in Belgium, we have to make sure they can have access to knowledge as well to ensure a positive future of Belgium.

Therefore Sofie Foets is clear:


“We have to make sure that our Belgian youth with non-EU background gets educated, properly. That they get the proper mindset and tools that are needed to become the future “leaders” of our city, our country. That we stop them – now –  from dropping out at school unqualified and early, with all the negative consequences this brings.”


That is why Sofie founded TADA, a community that organises workshops for underprivileged youth with non-EU backgrounds from ‘difficult Brussels areas’ like Molenbeek to avoid them from dropping out of school unqualified. The workshops are given voluntarily by role models from business, government and civil society on topics like law, biochemistry, construction and finances and insurances.

Sofie Foets believes that educating Belgian youth with non-EU roots could change the life of these people, future generations and our society on the whole. They state it is an essential part when we are talking about the purpose economy.


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