The Fresh Start programme will be driven by the following values and objectives:
Will provide migrants with routes to social and economic inclusion through encouraging and supporting their entrepreneurial talents.
The project focus will as far as possible be on re-purposing and tailoring existing mainstream support packages rather than re-creating everything from scratch. This will include applying the ‘Good Practice to Support Migrant Entrepreneurship’ benchmarking tool. We are not looking to re-invent the wheel, but rather find new ways to put all parts of the bicycle together so create a faster and better vehicle. We want to avoid the ‘pilot and crash’ syndrome whereby initiatives grind to a halt once the initial pump-priming pilot funding comes to an end.
Co-operative and Collaborative Co-Learning.
We will avoid ‘pilot and crash’ by bringing together partners and organisations already active in the field who are not currently delivering the full range of services migrant entrepreneurs need. Through co-working, dual learning and listening/learning from migrants (either existing or aspiring entrepreneurs) we will ensure that all gain a complete picture and skill set that will allow support for migrant entrepreneurs to become a mainstream part of day to day activity. Our web portal will be maintained after the project to encourage future mainstreaming.
Not just focused on text-book examples of how to set up a business, but tailored support to include details of the cultural, social, ethical and legal conventions that govern business activity – both across the EU and in member states.
Practical. Recognising that many migrants will have limited financial resources and will initially need either support to develop business ideas that have relatively low financial barriers to entry – or - practical strategies how to access to finance (from community based credit unions through to banks).
Support that recognises the challenges that migrants face; that their arrival in the EU is only part of their journey and not the end; that many are people with significant capabilities.
A clear focus on developing a model that will be easy to mainstream in many different regions and nations across the EU.
By working together as partners in different EU regions we will be able to identify commonalities and gain insights that would not be available if we were working individually. We will celebrate the connections and self-history that migrations have with the countries that have left. Evidence has shown that combined start-ups - European citizens combine their efforts with immigrants in starting up an SME - are more successful than mono-cultural SMEs.
To support recent migrants to the EU to work collaboratively to develop new enterprises (e.g. through the development of co-operatives and social enterprises); to connect recent migrants with ‘mentors’ – citizens who were once migrants “new arrivals” but who have now established themselves as successful entrepreneurs.
Focused on Transferable Skills.
We want to support migrants to gain skills that will help them be more entrepreneurial in the broadest sense. If this future is self-employment or setting up their own business our project will have been a success. Alternatively, if the chosen route for some of our beneficiaries is mainstream employment, then, in line with the EntreComp framework, this will also be success – because we will have added to an individual's skill set; supporting them to take control and build their own futures. We have not adopted the rhetoric of ‘helping’ – for us the key is empowerment, connecting and facilitation.