In the past years, more than one million refugees have come to Europe, and the influx will continue also in the years to come. Apart from political questions concerning their distribution, the most urgent aspects are their integration into our society and their employment.
A refugee entrepreneur, like any entrepreneur, brings many potential benefits to the host community. First of all, an entrepreneur creates at least one job for her-/himself. In addition they can employ other refugees and/or host country nationals. The kind of businesses opened by refugees often reflect innovative solutions to local problems and are therefore more effective at addressing the needs of specific target groups than large, donor-driven programmes.
Having a (social) enterprise can also help to create normality in a difficult surrounding. Providing familiar food or wedding dresses not only brings employment, but also ways to unite communities, preserve traditions and a sense of normality. Overall, it can be said that entrepreneurship improves the psychological well-being of individuals and the overall atmosphere.
Becoming an entrepreneur is always a challenge and often not the most obvious choice for a refugee. He/she needs, above all, information provision, networking (with both other refugees/migrants and members of the host community), mentoring, training, and finally also investment and funding. All of these are equally relevant in the refugee context.
Therefore, the overall objective of our strategic partnership is to provide an overview about projects, initiatives and methods which train, support and facilitate entrepreneurship for immigrants, and in particular for women.
More information is available on the project website.