EMEN-UP Welcome Workshop

On 2nd and 3rd of May 2018, EMEN attended the EMEN-UP Welcome Workshop in Brussels, and learnt about its theory of change.

EMEN-UP is a cousin project, also approved under the COS-MigrantsENT-2016-4-02 call. It is a network that promotes and seeks “new opportunities for the creation and growth of migrant enterprises” through the implementation of existing schemes and advocacy. It has a bottom-up approach, since it aims to learn from the experiences of its members in order to create tools to help them grow. Therefore, EMEN-UP will gather best practices, provide guidance for stakeholders and migrant entrepreneurs, and act locally. The project wants to respond to the lack of information, professional networks and support programmes that the EU and migrants face today. EMEN-UP’s partners are Youth Business International, Autoocupació, KIZ, PerMicroLab and Spark.

This first Welcome Workshop was an opportunity to meet EMEN-UP’s partners and the members of its network. Being close to EMEN and with similar goals, attending the workshop was an interesting occasion to see what our colleagues are working on and to explore ways for cooperation.

The workshop presented EMEN-UP’s theory of change, saw how a Belgian microcredit organisation (MicroStart) works, listened to migrant entrepreneurs’ successful experiences, learnt from NGOs which have already worked in this field, and identified the main challenges that migrant entrepreneurs need to face and how to make their businesses sustainable.

Theory of change

EMEN-UP’s theory of change establishes that the network’s aim is to help migrants create and expand their businesses, which will improve their economic situation, create new jobs and help them to integrate into their new communities in the EU. However, there are some significant challenges that migrants, and therefore this network, have to face. These are migrants’ different languages and social backgrounds, the fact that they cannot move easily, the lack of financial support and their struggle with the “western way of doing businesses”. In fact, in order to let migrants access our markets, they have to learn how business is carried on in Europe. This may not be the same way as they are used to in their country of origin.

If EMEN-UP’s goals are achieved, migrants will find it easier to create and run a business in their new countries, it will help their financial and social situation and it will increase their integration into European communities.

 

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