Egypt, India, Germany
Towards a More Inclusive Business World: Insights From Leading Womenlink
Let’s talk about birthdays.
Lately, I have done quite a lot of thinking about birthdays because my three “babies” all recently celebrated theirs. Well, babies is no longer an appropriate term as my children were born in 2013, 2015 and 2017, respectively. Also, referring to them as “babies” or “children” isn’t entirely accurate as only my two youngest are human. Today’s subject and the focus of this article is my first baby: enpact. It was born on August 19th, eight years ago.
enpact’s eighth birthday is incredible and makes me feel very proud and uneasy at the same time. I find myself thinking about our humble beginnings, the ups and downs, the changes, the fear, the uncertainty, all the creative conflict and the financial risks we’ve taken — and keep taking. All I want to do is take a deep breath, inhale, exhale, pause…and celebrate!
Savoring the Moment and Showing Gratitude
I want to take a break from the daily whirlwind so that myself and everyone at enpact can appropriately and fully savor this special moment. All too often we are so hung up with our daily routines that we forget — or do not fully grasp — the luck and privilege we have of being alive and getting to celebrate our birthdays. Another important fact that we tend to forget when celebrating “our” birthday is that we actually made the least contribution on that day. The real credit goes to all of the mothers, and to a lesser extent the fathers, but only to those who were present for the moment and did not faint.
When I think about enpact’s birthday, I automatically start thinking about all of the people whom Sebastian, myself and enpact owe credit and thanks to. There are the first group of startups we ever worked with, the first generation of our team, the donors and partners who provided us with their trust upfront, the mentors and experts who believed in the concept and engaged themselves, and everyone we’ve worked with after those early days. Putting everyone’s name here would fill an entire book — and the list keeps growing with the years.
Looking back on these eight years in my mind’s eye, I am flabbergasted by all of the changes our organization went through, the programs we developed and implemented, and the growth of our portfolio. I also remember the struggles we’ve had and the fights we fought (some we won, others we lost), both internally and externally. Then there are the people whose lives and businesses we impacted, and who impacted our lives and enpact in a way that’s hard to put into words.
So, believe me when I say to you that enpact knows who you are and thanks you for being you. Should you read this blogpost and are a member of the above-mentioned group, it’s you who I address and want to express my personal — as well as enpact’s — gratitude! What started off as an idea grew to become an international organization and a community that is united by a joint mindset: empowering entrepreneurship.
Growing Up and Letting Go
If enpact was a human, it would be a child preparing to enter primary school. From a business perspective, enpact is now a teenager who is about to reach maturity. All that is to say there is an exciting mixture of emotional turmoil, internal experimentation and hubris at enpact right now, and I am looking forward to the years to come. I am forever grateful for the learning and personal growth opportunities the (ad)venture that is enpact has provided.
At the same time, it serves as a powerful reminder that for us parents, the mandate we are given to help our babies grow has an expiry date. And yes, this is sometimes heartbreaking. But I find consolation in Daphne Rose Kingma’s quote: “Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.”
What’s to Come?
Everyone at enpact worked very hard to get where we are. And everyone will continue working hard toward our future. While we have our ideas and vision of what this should look like, we will find out eventually its actual shape and form.
To showcase some of the milestones, highlights and learnings from the last eight years, both from enpact as well as from the entrepreneurs in our network, we designed a special edition of our newsletter. If you are intrigued, make sure to read it, and if you have forgotten to sign up, now is the perfect moment to do so.
Today is a special day. And the fact that we are alive, healthy and kickin’ should be sufficient to make us feel happy and proud. So keep enpacting, every…single… day!