Bas is a Dutch guy with a lot of aspirations, interests and dreams. He is 26 years with many experiences in sales and marketing, and working with WEBPACK. He is writing his thesis for Saxion Hogeschool in Arts and Technologies, and doing his internship at DELITELABS.
How did you know about DELITELABS?
I came to learn about DELITELABS through a friend of mine. He did a course in Valencia. He was a bit in a ditch when he left, but when he came back he had a fire in his eyes. Over a beer he told me how it was in Valencia. Full enthusiasm over the new initiative they had created there.
So, when I told him I was searching for an internship he immediately pointed out that DELITELABS was moving from Valencia to Amsterdam. A couple of days later I was speaking with Christof on the phone.
Today, I combine my expertise and studies, together with my experiences and I help DELITELABS to run the crowdfunding campaign, and mentor the teams.
How about the beginning, before the first course took place..
When I first started at DELITELABS it was not much better than a garage with nothing in it. We had to move fast, se we didn’t have much. No furniture! That was one of the first things that needed to be done, get furniture and preferably for free.
Luckily, we found a couple of ways to come up with the furniture needed.
End result: more than 60 chairs, 20 tables, more than 20 whiteboards and 4 couches. I couldn’t believe it myself. It didn’t matter how it was getting done as long as it was getting done. That made it and still makes it a great place to work.
What is the message of DELITELABS in your perspective?
In my opinion, DELITELABS is a vehicle that causes a drive in people . It conveys a message that people can achieve so much, as long as they are willing to believe in themselves and work their ass off.
After 2 courses what made you decide to continue?
It is a very meaningful work. I could be working in some other environment, but something is just so interesting about working at DELITELABS.
What are your expectations for the new course?
I believe it’s going to be even better than the last two courses. We share our new location with other organisations that have its main theme in refugees. This will mean hopefully that we can combine our strengths and that we can learn a great deal from each other.
What difference DELITELABS is making in their as new comers in the Netherlands?
I think one of the key characteristics is that DELITELABS gives to the participants is a mentality change. You can call it a paradigm shift, or a change in mindset. People that studied at DELITELABS have a very sophisticated sense of their interests and abilities.
This gives them a very fine filter they can use throughout their lives. We have noticed these benefits also in Spain where the course ran there for 5 weeks and was mostly for unemployed local youth. Even though everyone went through with the projects they created at DELITELABS, but almost all of them have a job now.
People get more resourceful when they do a course at DELITELABS. They become more resilient.
Where do you see DELITELABS in few years?
As a bigger international organisation that still is trying to help refugees and the unemployed youth, and more international organization, like in Greece and Spain.
At the moment we have no money, for almost nothing actually. The larger amount of what we use as material to do our course are gifts from companies or people that wanted to help our cause.
I hope more and more people see the value of a organisation like DELITELABS. I see us as one of the most interesting organisations.
Do you think that entrepreneurship can offer a real alternative for new comers?
Absolutely. Especially for refugees if you ask me. Most of them have been through hell. Not to talk bad about the Dutch, I myself am a Dutch, but we are pretty spoiled.
We don’t really know what hard work is or fleeing for your life entails. That’s why most of us probably don’t have the tough skin that you need to achieve a business.
I think this is one of the reasons the people who do our course are especially equipped to use entrepreneurship as a real alternative.
Read more about DELITELABS and crowdfunding in Flexibilian, Bas’s Blog!