My heart beats for cultural diversity. I started my entrepreneurial journey 2 years ago and I have never stopped loving what I do. And that is what keeps me going. Knowing that I get to celebrate different cultures and show their beauty every day!

Migration has been around ever since the beginning of time. People moved constantly in search for better environments, better living conditions, better opportunities. We have done that for so long, yet we fail to embrace this way of living. We call migration a movement, yet it is a fundamental part of our existence. Cultures have evolved, people have adapted, yet migrants/immigrants are still perceived to be a somewhat negative influence. But, what if we tried to see the beauty and the value of a person that makes his or her way into a new society? What if we actually talked to one another? What if we actually listened?

At enpact, the cultural diversity has been an extraordinary experience. Even though here in Vienna I am surrounded by a very international crowd, enpact was different. During the three amazing camps, I learned about 6 different ecosystems. I learned about the cultural differences and their economies. Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, Germany, Switzerland. Wow. What an amazing source of learning!

In my search for the beauty of cultures, at enpact I was proven that no matter the cultural differences, diversity sparks new ideas, it inspires people and opens a whole new level of understanding. I learned, for example, that Syrian refugees are great entrepreneurs, hard working people who want to contribute to society. I learned this from one of our sessions in Tunisia, where Jordanians shared their experiences with us. Amazing source of learning! What I wouldn’t give to have some of the Jordanians come here and share with Europe about their experiences! Information through dialogue is the only thing that eases up tension on the refugee crisis. Yet we allow fear to control our lives.

At the same time, I also learned that I needed to dream bigger! Because if a dream doesn’t scare you, then it’s not big enough. So today I dream bigger. I think bigger and see migration from a whole new perspective. We all are citizens of this world. In our differences, there is beauty to be discovered. Let’s choose to look for it.

In my journey with the enpactors, I was also incredibly humbled to see the hard work of the enpact team to ensure that all of us, 60 entrepreneurs, 20 mentors + experts, were treated with the same level of respect that one deserved. There was no difference between each other. We were all people, citizens of this world. enpact gave me a glimpse of what a world can be like when prejudice and ignorance do not exist. And that’s the beauty of cultural diversity! That is the world I choose to see every day. And that is my big dream: to show its beauty!

Thank you enpact, for an amazing journey! Thank you for the learnings, the inspiration, the fun, the laughs and the amazing people who made this program possible. I still can’t believe I was part of it. Thank you for helping me and enabling me to dream bigger!

by Andra Slaats