Our project supports refugees in Europe who want to realize own business ideas. A series of training sessions facilitate the development of successful (social) business models, provide hands on guidance towards their implementation and encourage peer-to-peer exchanges. In addition, refugees are supported through a mentorship program. Once piloted, the program will be rolled out and replicated over Europe in collaboration with other incubators and entrepreneurship centers.
Only about 55% of recognized refugees in Germany find a long-term employment. At the same time, economic activities are a major key to integration. Many refugees used to run businesses in their home countries and seek to realize own business ideas in their new environment too. Yet, limited knowledge of local administration and markets leads to legal and strategic challenges. We help to overcome such obstacles that keep refugees from pursuing successful business careers.
We seek to support refugees with entrepreneurial experience or interest to develop and implement successful (social) business ideas. The resulting businesses can also offer employment for other refugees or European citizens in the long run. Our project empowers refugees to leverage their skills to help themselves and each other – rather than being passive receivers of support. Up to ten entrepreneurs will be supported to develop and start their business and build up an economic perspective.
Our pilot project in Berlin (Germany) has 3 components:
(1) Training: Inspire, inform and educate about how to create a business, based on an existing curriculum.
(2) Mentorship: Carefully selected refugees are matched with knowledgeable mentors from the project team’s network for individual support.
(3) Handbook: To facilitate replication, the experiences are documented in a handbook combining general information on founding a company with specific guidance catering to refugees’ situation.
We target refugees with approved asylum status and strong interest to build their own (social) business. The project will take place in Berlin (Germany) supporting refugees that will be carefully selected according to their level of experience in entrepreneurship, professional backgrounds and personal motivation to start a business. Through the project, we seek to learn how support can be made most useful for them. On this basis, it is envisaged to replicate the project at a larger scale.
The project builds on the conviction that refugees need an economic perspective to settle in their new environments. The project looks at refugees as active participants of society that are willing and able to make a contribution, encouraging autonomy and integration. We particularly encourage social business ideas, i.e., business models that benefit other refugees or a social cause.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Assessing needs of refugee entrepreneurs and adaptation of training and mentoring modules - 6.000€; Recruiting suitable candidates and communication - 2.000€; Implementation of training modules (including venue costs) - 17.000€; Individual mentoring of participants - 11.000; Documentation of experiences and development of the handbook - 15.000€