About the expected impact:

 

  • Understanding what entrepreneurship means across the 3 countries

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  • What can we learn from migrants for entrepreneurship education?

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  • Target Groups. We propose to target migrants with limited financial and cultural capital. We will be biased towards those who have relocated to Europe for reasons such as: escaping war, famine, political turmoil, economic hardship, political/social oppression and discrimination, environmental degradation of their homeland etc. We are not proposing to target specific migrant communities or ethnicities. We want to be open and inclusive and not proceed on the basis of perceived stereotypes. A more important test for us will be an interest in and potential for self-employment or setting up their own business.

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  • “Official sources and local studies suggest that there is considerable interest in entrepreneurship as a career option among new migrants. Our review highlights a genuine desire among new arrivals to establish their own businesses. Often this is achieved with meagre resources and little if any formal institutional backing…. Many migrants feel they are locked out or under-utilised by the formal job market. Becoming self-employed in such circumstances is an important means of pursuing ambitions for social mobility1”.

  • Reasons for Selection - Beneficiaries are likely to share characteristics of relative youth and potentially high risk of economic exclusion from the labour market. We have chosen this cohort because we believe that targeted support and intervention will make a positive contribution: enterprise and entrepreneurship can be used as a tool to drive inclusion; to create wealth (for individuals, their families, potential future employees and wider society); to empower individuals, combat social isolation and to give migrants and their families roots and pride in being a member of the wider community.

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  • We would also emphasise that our choice of beneficiary targets is not driven by a deficit model i.e. defining an individual in terms of what they cannot do. Instead, we propose to proceed on the basis of empowerment, encouragement and facilitation; what can individuals achieve if given appropriate and targeted support? We would cite research that found that once they had overcome the barriers to setting up a business Australia's humanitarian migrants go on to make twice as much money from their own business as people arriving on skilled and family visas.

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  • Each of the project partners will also be championing three different streams of Entrepreneur:

  • In Belgium, we will be will be focussing on creating entrepreneurs with pre-existing work experience that is allied to sectors where there are skills shortages in professions that Europe needs. Reports suggest that this could be in areas such ICT, general practitioners, scientists. In Belgium, these professions tend to work as self-employed entrepreneurs. As part of the transfer of learning, we will also be working to help show how this self-employed tradition could be an opportunity for other partners within other member states to support migrant entrepreneurs and anticipate new employment trends/new modes of working.

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  • In the Netherlands, we think it is important to target young migrants since they have certain ambitions and are willing to learn. Also, they easily and quickly adapt to their new situations and living circumstances. Nevertheless, we also think it is important to include some older migrants with an entrepreneurial background to bring in practical expertise from which the younger persons can learn. Furthermore, there will be a focus on Women in order to provide opportunities they might have lacked before.

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  • In the United Kingdom, we will be largely, but not exclusively, targeting Women entrepreneurs. The USA is the world leader in the growth of Women's entrepreneurship "the number and economic contributions of women-owned firms continues to rise at rates higher than the national average, with even stronger business formation rates seen since the recession”.2 In general terms, Women’s entrepreneurship is an area where Europe needs to improve its performance and start closing the gap with the USA. In respect of Migrant Women’s entrepreneurship an OECD study found that across OECD countries the proportion of migrant women engaging in entrepreneurship activities was very low.3 Women Migrant Entrepreneurs have been adopted as a priority for our project because we want to address issues of gender inequality. We believe that this inequality is both harmful for the position of migrant women in European society, but if not addressed will also contribute towards a continuing productivity gap between Europe and the USA.

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  • Research suggests that those from non-migrant backgrounds are drawn towards entrepreneurship because of a desire to be financially and managerially independent and autonomous. For minority and migrant populations, the desire for autonomy may also be present, but many will look to setting up their own business or work on a self-employed basis because it is a better alternative to unemployment.

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  • Our project will work with the grain; the interventions we make will speed up the process of new migrants starting and setting up their own business and in so doing will increase economy prosperity for both individual migrants and their wider community. Evidence from a wide variety of studies that show that “in many instances, especially for micro-enterprises, the demand for the businesses of immigrant entrepreneurs largely stems from their own immigrant community…This includes things like food items, newspapers, books, clothes and jewellery. To supply these kinds of products, links to the country of origin are important. Someone from a different ethnic group would have a much harder time to offer the same products.5”

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  • Broadly speaking, migrants tend to be highly geographically concentrated in cities and urban area. Even if the initial place of settlement for a new migrant is some way a way from an urban metropolis, over a period of time there will be a movement to the cities. Our project recognises this and will be working with migrant communities in large urban conurbations. “While we often think of immigrants as moving from one country to another, in reality they arrive from a particular place and settle in a particular community, usually a metropolitan area6” Further: “immigrant entrepreneurship also tends to be concentrated in urban areas. Even more so, many immigrant businesses can be found in specific areas of cities where it is common for ethnic minorities to settle.”7Enterprise can be a means of providing an anchor for new migrants to a particular geographic area. Little Italy in New York, Little Vietnam in London and China Towns the world over are examples of how Enterprise and Entrepreneurship has helped migrants settle and establish themselves as communities. Our project has relevance not just because it will provide economic activity for individual migrants, but it will help to seed and establish new settled communities. It will also help provide a bridge to the wider community and accelerate integration. Example: "In countries like the Netherlands and the US, migrant entrepreneurship has proven to be an efficient means of socio-economic integration contributing significantly to the overall economic growth and development of the area concerned8”.

  • We will be proving support to new young migrants to enable them to identify and value the existing skills that they already have (NB not necessarily recorded in formal qualifications) and how these talents can be both valuable and useful in gaining self-employment or setting up a new enterprise. Not all new enterprises and start-ups succeed – we are not going to claim that our project will be immune to this reality. Not all the migrants we support will go on to set-up a company. Even in this scenario, our project in line with the EntreComp framework will be of benefit because it will give participants increased social capital.

  • Migrants who succeed in starting up their own SME or who are able to use their entrepreneurial skills to secure a job will gain respect in their new home countries. They will add something concrete to the economies of the wider communities - including employment for others.