Taoufik Amzile is a social entrepreneur who believes many share the responsibility of empowering those who face disadvantages. Through supporting minority youth in their professional pursuits and promoting collaboration between diverse businesses and community groups, he works to create communities where more people prosper and feel connected. As a participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program through the U.S. Embassy in Belgium, Taoufik travelled to the U.S. to meet a network of like-minded leaders and gain valuable experience to apply to his work in Belgium.
Taoufik is not only a highly dedicated social entrepreneur, but a highly skilled and passionate one. His professional training equips him to serve as an analyst, consultant, and project manager for banks and businesses in the private sector. Meanwhile, his passion for social change has led him to a career that deeply inspires him – and others. Through his work with LEAD (Les entrepreneurs actifs de la diversit ), Taofike supports disadvantaged minority youth to overcome obstacles that may stand in the way of their ambitions. “I help youngsters with diverse roots to jump-start their professional lives, helping them to set up startups and offering them career advice.”
Bringing social awareness to the wider business community is also an integral part of Taofik’s mission. For years, he has worked on building partnerships between a variety of businesses in Brussels and elsewhere in Belgium. A desire to promote socio-economic activities that empower diverse groups drives his mission.
Taoufik found inspiration and gained valuable experience to support his social entrepreneurship as a participant in the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) through the U.S. Embassy to Belgium. “The exchange was wonderful!” he said about the U.S. exchange program. “The topics of my trip were diversity, management, interfaith, and entrepreneurship. These are exactly the topics I’m active on in Belgium.”
As someone devoted to inspiring others, Taoufik relished meeting others who share his passions and priorities. “To be honest, it was a very inspiring journey. I met a lot of people committed to getting things moving and offering plenty of good advice,” he says. “Once back to Belgium, I felt so enriched by all these meetings and experiences. It was a very positive influence in my work on a daily basis.”
Celebrating and tapping into diversity gives an individual – and a society as a whole – a great advantage, Taofik explains. He hopes to model how a diverse background can provide a deep source of pride and strength, in addition to a strong foundation for identity. “I was born in Belgium at the crossroads of different cultural sensitivities. I’m of Moroccan descent, I’m a Muslim, but I’m also European and all of this at the same time.”
With a fearless entrepreneurial spirit, Taoufik has expanded LEAD’s impact to reach many communities across Brussels. “Entrepreneurs dare to take risks and seize opportunities,” he explains. For example, while working with entrepreneurs from Jewish and Muslim communities, he worked “to bridge the gap between the communities, that’s what I’m experimenting with.” Taufik believes that his work is only one part of a broad, collective effort.“Whatever your field of expertise – doctors, lawyers, architects – everyone can find a way to bring people closer together through their occupation or interests,” he says.“I dream of Brussels as a marvelous lab, a social experiment. Brussels counts almost 150 nationalities. This diversity is a richness to be proud of.”“My advice is to just constantly be yourself. Your identity can be a source of pride.”