The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network
While TERN already uses the expertise of established entrepreneurs in Britain to provide refugees with support to set up their own businesses, female participant numbers remain low. TERN aims to work with entrepreneurial refugee women to develop a business support programme to meet their learning and business needs, which is adapted to their life circumstances. Successful female entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds (incl. refugees) will act as workshop leaders, mentors and public champions.
London (UK), with the possibility to expand into Germany, the Netherlands, France and Sweden.
Europe needs to renew its guarantee of individual rights, freedoms and equal opportunity for all. To support female refugees suffering unique social and economic disadvantages into entrepreneurship enables their upward social mobility and increased participation in economic and societal fora.
Our aim is to upskill 15 refugee women and ensure that at least 10 of them start a business activity to ensure their self-sufficiency and economic independence. A year from now, we will have shaped a community in which they act as mentors of the next generation of entrepreneurial refugee women.
The goal is to adapt the proven TERN incubator model to suit all-women cohorts, as follows. 1. Collaborate with successful migrant women entrepreneurs (champions) in designing fit for purpose support services and community building methodologies. 2. Create an engagement campaign with compelling stories about the champions as role models to engage women into entrepreneurship. 3. Encourage women to apply as teams/groups, catering to the collective empowerment common in women refugee communities.
At TERN I see parallels between ambitions of refugee women and my own. Establishing a career, developing rewarding personal relationships - these shared goals span nationality and social/cultural difference. This project would unite diverse women with entrepreneurial aspirations in a common purpose.
1) Refugee women with entrepreneurial aspirations, looking to set up their own business in the UK.
2) Young refugee women who contemplating self employment but are unsure about its viability.
3) Refugee women with a strong technical skill but who been distant to the labour market for 2+ years.
Advice on the community-building side of the proposed project - on how we could best build a supportive and helpful community around the business aspect of the programme and hub. Feedback on the awareness of need for this programme in other European countries, and possible partners to work with.