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Education Programme

1. What we set out to achieve

A. Training

B. Mentoring

2. What we achieved

A. London 

B. Limburg 

C. Maastricht

1.What we set out to achieve


​​A. Training

Objectives and approach



Work Package 2 will offer a tailor-made programme, responding to participants' needs amalgamated with those of the host country to develop a value circle. This value circle will take a practical approach influenced by existing best practice to create a co-learning environment that recognises the value the migrants can offer and enables them to create the value through the medium of entrepreneurship


The training and education provided through the project will be outcome- rather than process-focused, and will measure and monitor impact from the outset. The provision of training and other services is not a goal in itself, but will translate into concrete results in terms of business creation and growth, the economic and social integration of migrant entrepreneurs in the host community, and the benefits for the community.


  • To repurpose and refine content of existing training provided through University partners in order to make content more applicable to migrant communities


  • To develop learning activity where: a) Universities learn how to adapt their business support content to make it more relevant to migrant communities and b) NGO partners learn from HEI’s how to better deliver business support activities and community partners increase capacity to support


  • To ensure training delivery is delivered flexibly and takes into account any limitations of participants


  •  To ensure a balance between practice and theory and that training is innovative and inclusive


  • To tackle language barriers in new and innovative ways ensure capacity of partners is utilised




  • 2 x 20 week course delivered by Zuyd

  • 2 x 12 week courses delivered in London

  • 2 x 12 week course delivered by UCLL

  • 150 hours of individual business support delivered

  • 20 access to finance sessions held

B. Mentoring

Objectives and approach

The mentoring offered through this project will be focused on the matching process between each migrant entrepreneur and the mentor (along with shared interests, prospective sector of activity, background or location), as well as the mentor’s and mentee’s regular availability. Mentor support will last for the duration of the programme to ensure consistency as well as forming a relationship that can be beneficial to the participant beyond the project.


The mentor will help the mentee plan the support they require from the programme. This will create an entrepreneurship ecology on a local, and European/international scale. This can then continue to develop after the pilot programme ends and formulates an element of work package 4. Design and implementation of mentoring will create a structure which encourages commitment but is also flexible.

  • Matching process

  • Match cultures and language where possible

  • Match business sector if possible

  • Support migrants beyond life of programme




  • 50 mentoring sessions delivered

2. What we achieved

A. The London Pathway

Year 1 (2017 -2018)

Training : The LSBU training programme was developed with the university’s existing resources and previous business support programmes in mind. LSBU Business School took an active role in the design and delivery of the programme. The first round of the programme started in January 2018 and lasted 4 months. It included 10 Workshops and 10 Master Classes delivered by LSBU School of Business Academics. The workshops covered the fundamental aspects of business practice that are needed to develop a business idea successfully, help grow a business, and to access finance if required.


The advanced Master Classes covered ten topics on self-development, core business development, and external marketing and were chosen to suit the participants’ needs. An end-of-programme event was held to bring together participants, their families, course organisers and trainers, to award certificates of participation, and where participants were invited to briefly present their business ideas and experiences of the Fresh Start course.

Business Advice and Mentoring : Creating a business plan is key to revealing opportunities and potential challenges at the implementation stage of a business idea. Fresh Start participants received individual Business Support over three one-to-one sessions with a SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative) qualified Business Advisor throughout the Programme.


Participants were matched with a mentor based on their business ideas and needs, and the skills and experience of mentors. Mentor support involved a minimum of 10 contact hours spread over 4 months.

Year 2 (2018 -2019)

It was felt that the self-catering approach of the training programme during the first year was not suitable for the target audience. This had been borrowed from other programmes that LSBU had run for local businesses and had proved successful in that context. For migrant entrepreneurs or aspiring ones it appeared that a more linear and structured approach was needed. The Programme was re-designed to mirror the entrepreneur’s journey so that the final outcome would be a completed “Business Plan” by the participants. The 10 weeks Training Programme therefore included 10 workshops and tutorials. 


Business Advice

3 One-to-one sessions with a SFEDI qualified Business Advisor were arranged for each participant throughout and after the programme. Depending on the stage of the business, the advisor supported with the development of an idea, business plan or growth strategy.

Meetings took place during working hours.



At the end of the programme, 4 group mentoring sessions were organised to allow participants to meet with experts and discuss their business, ask questions and suggestions. Each session was focused on a topic that participants had requested specific support with.

B. The Limburg Pathway 

Training:  A flexible training approach is developed by UCLL to address the various needs of programme participants. The training consists of two sessions on wellbeing, two on networking, four on starting up your business, two on legal challenges, and two on financial opportunities. For each session, experts from the field (entrepreneurs, consultants, bankers, lawyers, social entrepreneurs) were invited. The training course is based on four tools: the Web Portal, the Trainer’s Handbook, the Rhizome and the Calendar.


Participants can opt for six in-person and six online training sessions through Rhizome. In order to qualify for mentoring sessions, trainees are asked to provide a roadmap consisting of 12 steps, to present their roadmap and pitch their business idea on the demo day.


Training took place in Brussels and Louvain at the premises of the Flemish Education Ministry - most of the participants were located in these two cities. The second round of the training programme will take place in close collaboration with the city of Genk.


Fresh Start Flanders opted for mutual mentoring, where Flemish experts coach refugees in the employment and entrepreneurship culture of the host country and where refugees share the entrepreneurship models of their home country - as well as their strategies to find their way in Flemish society.


Mentor cheques are granted to those who present their digital story and pitch their business idea at the Demo Day. The mentors present themselves and their range of expertise on the portal. This enables participants to link the expertise of the mentors to their own challenges and to request a mentor accordingly.


Communities of Practice are created to bring together migrants with similar ambitions. A selected migrant and Flemish expert lead the COPs to ensure the right level of guidance to the participants.

C. The Maastricht Pathway 

Training: A 14-week training programme was launched in February 2018. It included both theoretical and practical business-oriented sessions. The College for Intermediate Vocational Training Leeuwenborgh and Qredits structured the programme and ZUYD took the lead in adapting it to the Fresh Start format. Training addressed tax issues, how to start a business when relying on social benefits, pitching, marketing through social media, inter-personal skills, and communication. Guest lectures took place to provide additional coaching and guidance on how to use the e-learning environment. ZUYD developed an interactive approach and organised guest lectures on an ad hoc basis, based on the immediate need of the participants

A bootcamp was organised in collaboration with the MC4E Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship. This event brought together International business students, field experts, and the participants. Trainees received support to further develop their business ideas within the CANVAS business model.

Mentoring:  Maastricht mentoring sessions aimed to give participants the opportunity to talk to experts about their business ideas, business plans, and potential pitfalls that they may encounter during their entrepreneurial journey. Three mentors with diverse backgrounds were selected to provide their hands-on experience in entrepreneurship. Participants had the opportunity to raise questions in line with mentors’ fields of expertise and socio-economic backgrounds.

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