“How can we make the world a better place?”

Us, students, are a vibrant source of creativity and ideas. However, it often seems like a huge and difficult step to turn these ideas into something real. Together with AFD and Cera, we have set up the Brightminds program to inspire and activate fellow students around social entrepreneurship. In our view, social entrepreneurship is the entrepreneurship of today and tomorrow. Throughout the year, we’ll provide you with all the necessary tools to answer our main question: “How can we make the world a better place while also making money?”


With the Brightminds program, our goal is to reach both ambitious students with an idea and/or a breakthrough vision about social entrepreneurship, as well as motivated students who want to learn more about social businesses and inspiring individuals. We are looking to engage students who want to have a positive impact on society, and help them to think about how social businesses will change tomorrow’s world.


The Brightminds program challenges students to reflect critically on problems that our society faces today. In order to do this, we are working around 4 topics this year: (1) social entrepreneurship, (2) sustainable finance (3) sustainable communities and cities and (4) global development with doughnut economics. In the course of the academic year, we organise 12 interactive, interdisciplinary and innovative activities such as workshops, lectures, excursions and much more. These activities will challenge you to question the problems that our society is currently facing within the four different topics. What we expect from students is their presence, active participation and critical mindset during the workshops. The program is perfectly compatible with your studies, as students do not have to prepare anything, and it will only take around 2 hours per week. To start off with a bang, a teambuilding activity will be organized so that the students get to know each other better. In addition, a weekend, in which social entrepreneurship will be the central theme, will take place at the beginning of the second semester (depending on the corona measures). 


You will learn more about social entrepreneurship in a fun and interactive way. You will come into contact with successful entrepreneurs who will give you a new perspective on our society. All of the activities are packed with innovative, enriching ideas that will only increase in importance in the future. Students have the possibility to share their CV with us, which we will then distribute in the rich network of social entrepreneurs and companies of AFD. In addition, students will receive a certificate at the end of the year if they have been sufficiently present during the workshops. In that case, you can officially call yourself a BRIGHTMIND. And who knows, maybe you meet your future partner in crime to start your own social business or your future employer. In any case, you will develop and nurture skills that are becoming more and more important in the world of today.

Still Hesitating? Hear from Our Previous Participants!

  • Manon Bisschop
    Manon Bisschop Student Law

“I participated in the Brightminds program and I loved it. I learned that it is possible to have both social and economic goals, whereas I had the preconception that one excludes the other . Brightminds put us in touch with start-ups, small and large companies. So it gave us a good overview of the entrepreneurial world and the possibilities within each one. Through the various discussions I discovered exciting companies, innovative sectors and ambitious projects. It was very stimulating and gave me new professional perspectives. Finally, the workshops are really interactive and fun. If you are a student who is curious curious to know more and discuss about sustainability, equality, innovation and social businesses this program is for you !”

  • Nalan Yalaci
    Nalan Yalaci Bachelor Engineering Technology

“Hey there! My name is Nalan and I’m a 3rd year bachelor’s Engineering Technology and a former Brightminds student. Last year during lockdown Brightminds was one of the several extra-curricular activities I was a part of. Even though we had to do our weekly workshops online, it was always enriching and entertaining in some other way. With selected students in a small group, I always felt welcomed and encouraged to engage more. The speakers were so versatile in their professions and the quality of their presentations were top. I highly recommend everyone this yearly niche well-crafted program to broaden their horizons (literally)”

  • Marte Greefs
    Marte Greefs Master International Business Economics and Management

“At the time I learned about the AFD Brightminds track I was not sure what kind of career I wanted to pursue. Lots of topics interested me then and they were all related to creating a more sustainable world, so the Brightminds track matchted my interests perfectly. Because the guest lectures were all scheduled in the evening, it was easy to combine with my courses at the KUL. The guest speakers were all very interesting and the best thing was that, despite that they were all doing something different, they contribute to the same goal. It would have been nice if the sessions took place somewhere in Leuven instead of online, so it would have been easier to make friends and connect, but nevertheless I am glad I participated and got into contact with the entrepreneurs. I would definitely recommend!”


The application deadline is the  19th of October

We will select 25 applicants to become part of the Brightminds program.



Board Member: Nina Muñoz
Tel: +32 474 01 46 70

Contact person for partners
Entourage Member: Bridget Thielens Lomo

Contact person for students
Entourage Member: Aisa Batista

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