Migrant entrepreneurship education - what can the Fresh Start model offer?
Enables the prior expertise and resources of the migrant community to be harnessed in order to benefit the wider host community
Enhances integration and wellbeing of migrants and host community
Adds social and economic value to the host community as well as the migrant community
Why is a specific programme needed for migrants and refugees?
Mainstream entrepreneurship courses for the host community pre suppose knowledge of the social, cultural and business contexts of the country and therefore are unable to address the specific needs of this target group
Many participants will have prior experience and expertise in running businesses in their home country and this can be built on and developed for a different context. They will also have developed many business ready aptitudes and competences, such as resilience and adaptability
Many migrants have qualifications and skills from their home country but these are frequently not recognised or demand lengthy processes to get recognition. Hence their employment routes are rather restricted and therefore entrepreneurship offers an opportunity to make use of the valuable attributes which they bring with them and hence add value to local communities and achieve greater self-fulfilment and integration for migrants
The Fresh Start model has taken all this into account and developed a model which can be contextualised for different regions and countries. This contextualisation is essential as not surprisingly there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Key target groups may also differ as there are wide ranging differences in refugee numbers and countries of origin in each country and region. This also needs to be taken into account in order to shape the education programmes. Thus the Fresh Start model is one of 3 pathways with common principles, values and pedagogy.
Key elements of the Fresh Start 3 pathway model
Shared overlapping principles, aims, values,objectives and pedagogy pathways as relevant to the region and context.
Pedagogy: co creation, active learning, connectivism, design thinking, transformative pedagogy, collaborative, mutual learning, network learning.
The pedagogical approach is participant centred and based on reflective, active, enquiry based, transformative learning (Mezirow, O Sullivan) and also draws on design learning (Nelson etc.). As reflective, critical learners participants will be encouraged to help to shape their own learning and give regular feedback, thus enabling participant voices to help to shape the programmes according to their needs. The approach also needs to be interculturally aware and sensitive to the experience and background of participants. Access to language support will also be appropriate for some participants.
Developing the programme:
Methodology: Participatory Action Research
Engage with real world situation
Migration and refugees – what are the challenges?
Defining the issue – what are you trying to do?
Agree key principles, values, aims, objectives and pedagogy, with the Fresh Start regional partners in each country. Audit and analyse the terrain where you are working – this will involve the geographical, social and political context and also, most importantly, any other relevant actors working in the refugee/ migrant education sector. This will enable you to identify the most appropriate local partners, as well as the most appropriate trainers and participants.
Plan the action and intervention
Plan your intervention and action with your local partners, trainers and potential participants in relation to your findings. In liaison with your local partners, reach out to potential participants in the community and start recruitment. Test out your plans at a launch event. Review and revise your plans where necessary.
Run the programme
Reflect on action
At the end of the cycle, evaluate and review findings with the team and build on these for planning the second year
Start next cycle