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Academics for Development (AFD)

Academics for Development is a non-profit organization advocating for social entrepreneurship. We strive to give all students the opportunity to enrich themselves and have durable social impact through a hands on, multidisciplinary, and cross-cultural entrepreneurial experience.

AFD project


The core business of AFD is to give students the chance to work in a multidisciplinary team on a project designed in collaboration with a social entrepreneur, start-up or NGO. On the one hand, AFD aims to have a durable social impact. On the other hand, via the projects we want to offer students the chance to gain relevant practical and international experience. The ultimate goal of each project is to realise sustainable and meaningful social impact.

During the academic year, you will have weekly meetings with your team (and coach) to work on your project and prepare for the implementation phase in summer. You will regularly have contact with your project partner, to ask for feedback and make sure that you are on the same page. Be prepared to spend at least 8 to 10 hours per week on your project!

Throughout the year AFD also organises relevant workshops, trainings and events where you will learn skills that you can use, not only in your project, but also in your further career! At the end of each semester, there is a presentation moment, where you can present your project to friends, family, AFD alumni and a professional jury. After you have worked hard on the project for an entire academic year, you can finally go to your country of destination to implement the solutions or ideas you came up with! Yay! You will go abroad together with your team for six to eight weeks. During this implementation phase, you will work closely with your local project partner.


We believe that young people are a great source of creativity and are bursting with great ideas. However, turning those ideas into reality can be challenging. Therefore, we have set up the Brightminds program with the main goal to inspire and activate you with bright ideas and critical questions regarding social entrepreneurship. In our view social entrepreneurship is the entrepreneurship of today and tomorrow. We’ll provide you the tools and skills needed to become a successful leader that can influence the future society.

The program consists of 12 interactive, interdisciplinary and innovative sessions during one academic year such as workshops, lectures, interactive work sessions and company visits. In addition a weekend will be organized, where social entrepreneurship will be the central theme. These activities will challenge you to question current problems which our society is facing and reflect upon concepts like inequality, development in the south, social inclusion and many more.

Apply for our Brightminds program and meet awesome like-minded people, prepare for new societal trends, meet entrepreneurs who make a difference and be inspired!

Cleantech Challenge

The Cleantech Challenge is a worldwide competition in which teams of (ex)students develop a business plan around sustainable development, aiming at the price of £10,000 in the London final in the London Business School. The organizations AFD and AFT from Leuven, are responsible for the selection of the Belgian team. Only one team will be selected to participate in the London final.

Our goal is to provide students with practical experience through the development and defense of an own sustainable project, in addition to the theoretical knowledge they acquire at the university. Coming up with good and creative ideas that have potential is one thing, putting it into practice is another. In this context, AFD and AFT want to guide these students by organizing four workshops on the following subjects: (1) business plan modeling, (2) technical feasibility, (3) financial aspects and (4) pitch strategies.

AFT and AFD are looking for the most motivated students who want to work, together with us, on their own business plan for an entire year. On their way to the final they will be coached with different workshops and feedback. The only requirement is that the idea around which will be worked is sustainable and can contribute to the creation of a 'better world'. The ideas can go in a lot of directions, let the creativity do its work!

Af D event

Impact Case Day

Companies have a power to change the world that can't be underestimated. How can they have a positive impact and make their business more successful at the same time? Discover all this and more at the Impact Case Day. Place yourself in the shoes of our partners, crack the case and challenge the status quo! Are you curious about sustainability and social entrepreneurship? Then Academics For Development has the perfect day planned for you. Together with our inspiring partners, we proudly present you the Impact Case Day.

At our discussion tables you will learn all about thinking outside the box by discussing real life and global problems. Afterwards, each duo will be placed in a multidisciplinary team of four and will work together on two cases. Eventually every team will present their ideas to the representatives during the solution proposals. We end the ICD with an awards and certificates ceremony followed by a reception where you will be able to network with many interesting people.

Afd logo

Get in touch!

Please do not hesitate to get in contact by email.