Nermina Mumic is an Austrian, an immigrant, an entrepreneur, a Muslim and a civic leader, but not necessarily in that order.
She also is a graduate of the Generation Next Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI), an exchange program funded by the U.S. Embassy in Austria. YLI combines leadership training and community engagement with exposure to working with refugees and immigrants. The program’s alumni often bring new perspectives to integration issues.
As part of YLI, Mumic completed a leadership boot camp and visited the U.S. for further training. Of the three-week travel through several American states, she said, “I was impressed with how naturally people deal with religion and how it is an integral part of public life.”
Faith is important to the Bosnian-born immigrant. “In a crazily busy and fast-paced environment, religion gives me inner peace and strength,” she said. In 2010, as an undergraduate student, Mumic joined the Muslim Youth Austria organization, in part because of its vision that being Muslim and Austrian was possible, even beneficial.
Now head of the organization, Mumic says, “We want young Muslims to engage in our society, take on responsibility and encourage active citizenship.”
She leads by example. After earning her doctorate in mathematics at a Vienna university, Mumic came up with a marketable idea: an algorithm to detect anomalies in music-streaming revenues. To pursue this, she co-founded the company Legitary, which in June 2019 won first prize in Marketing & Data/Analytics at Midemlab, a global competition for music industry startups.
In 2018, in response to public debate in Austria, Mumic tapped U.S. State Department grant funding to roll out a pioneering year-long campaign to address anti-Semitism in the Muslim community. She worked with the U.S. Embassy and other YLI alumni on the project, which reflects her commitments to being both Muslim and Austrian.
For new immigrants to Austria, Mumic has advice: “Grab the outstanding chance you get here and make the best out of it. Share with your fellow citizens and society what you have to offer: your skills, your religion, your culture.”