Work and Equal Opportunities


Migrant entrepreneurship supported by mentors

The project aimed at facilitating and strengthening migrant entrepreneurship through light incubation cycles supported by mentors in five EU countries

As recognised by evidence at international level, migrant entrepreneurship can be a powerful trigger for economic development and social integration at local, national and EU level. At the same time, even if migrants are as an average more likely to start businesses than their native-born peers, the difficulties they meet are huge and multifaceted; moreover, national contexts can provide very different environments for new entrepreneurship. Tailored, expert and context specific support does therefore respond to a deeply felt need, as well as to priority 2 of the AMIF Call for Proposal, in line with the objectives of the European Agenda for Migration (2015): the project implemented concrete initiatives aimed at facilitating the access to work of migrants and contributed to value the role migrant entrepreneurs can play to foster integration.

The project activities were the design, implementation, test and evaluation of two cycles of light incubation (concentrated in time and specifically focused on the validation of business ideas) for entrepreneurial projects proposed by migrants, supported by tutors and mentors in five EU countries, and the subsequent dissemination and mainstreaming. Each project underwent a complete cycle of selection and incubation, based on an adapted version of the business model canvas: in each step business ideas were challenged, revised, strengthend up to the final step of market access. The relationship with mentors was the core of the project, because the potential for improving new and emerging business ideas through the interaction with people expert and experienced in the given business sector and national context, has proven very high in many incubation projects in the EU and elewhere. Mentors were thus guiding new entrepreneurs, while at the same time strengthening their own networks.

The expected project results were: a call for ideas and a call for people, with the object of attracting migrants aiming at developing a business or to join a team of entrepreneurs; Short Training Sessions, including project presentations, tutoring, traditional training; light incubation programmes, including a series of on line and off line interactions, especially focused on mentors’ matching events; pitching sessions in front of relevant stakeholders, potential partners and credit operators. The final outcome was around fifty sound business ideas ready to market (five per cycle per country).

The beneficiaries of the project were migrants aiming to start a business, migrants and natives who found emplyoment opportunities in such businesses, a network of expert mentors who at the same time provided knowledge and guidance, but also strengthen their networks in a multi-cultural business environment, policy makers at different levels who were engaged in the discussion of the results of cross-national experimentation.


Section: Work and Equal Opportunities


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Tags: entrepreneurship, equal opportunities, integration, migration

Type: Policy Advice

Program: Asylum, migration and integration Fund of the EC call for proposals HOME/2015/AG/INTE

Submission Date: 02/2016

Project Status: Finished

Start/End: 01/2017 - 12/2018

Project Duration: 24 months


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