“Growing Europe: Boosting migrant entrepreneurship networks” is a series of online events dedicated to current issues and future challenges of migrant entrepreneurship in Europe. The topic of the second online webinar was Needs and support to migrant entrepreneurs. Migrants know better what to do! The panellists discussed migrant-led support programs for migrant entrepreneurs. This allowed the audience to examine the needs of migrant entrepreneurs in-depth and view the innovative solutions proposed by other migrant entrepreneurs to support themselves.
The first speaker, Fridah Ntarangwi from Diaspora entrepreneurship, explained that businesses in Africa are not growing because of cultural issues. Not every family can afford to take a bank loan to support their children in attending university. Hence, there is a lack of knowledge in order to launch a new business. The Diaspora platform is trying to fix this problem, in fact, their platform finances start-up investments and provides training and coaching for young migrant entrepreneurs in the EU who were forced to leave Africa.
Yama Saraj, an Afghanistan entrepreneur, created tools for Boxing by using recycled products. He is training new entrepreneurs by explaining to them how to start a business in the Netherlands. Talita Holzer, on the other hand, is offering mentoring and coaching services for migrants in Dublin. She is also trying to promote diversity and inclusion. Besir Mahini shared his experience as a migrant entrepreneur in starting a business in Turkey. He created a collaboration platform with other Turkish entrepreneurs in order to properly inform them about taxation and the bureaucratic steps required to launch a new business in Turkey.
The second part of the webinar was dedicated to Access to finance: what you don’t see but is still there. The financing needs of migrant entrepreneurs are more diverse than what we tend to think. This session was a great opportunity to help the audience go beyond a picture of destitute migrants, in order to notice non-EU entrepreneurs who leave their countries with a plan and who arrive with a specific asset base and diverse capital types. It was revealed during the session that microfinance is not the only remedy for the migrant entrepreneurs’ needs.
Andrea Limone from Micro said that 41% of their costumers are migrants. Micro credits are basically for migrants rather than for Italians. Italian entrepreneurs are looking for conspicuous grants. Finally, Yama Saraj helps migrants to scale up their businesses by giving them tutorials and finance options.