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Hereunder a short description of the fora:

Coaching and mentoring

Led by: Farid Bidardel and Moritz Blanke (Social Impact, Berlin)
The main objectives of the Community of Practice (CoP) on Coaching and Mentoring for Migrant Entrepreneurs are to co-create a strong European network of practitioners in this field and to have an active transnational knowledge transfer and in the long run to improve existing coaching and mentoring schemes for migrant entrepreneurs.

There is a clear need of professionalisation of existing coaching and mentoring support schemes and a need to mainstream good practices and improve the quality of coaching and mentoring services for migrant entrepreneurs. At the same time, it is important to distinguish clearly between migrants who have already been in the EU for a significant period and newcomers. The project will focus on compiling and improving data on existing coaching and mentoring services for migrant entrepreneurs with a focus on adjustments for newcomers, the needs of the practitioner’s community, co-creating new approaches and transferring good practices.

Access to finance

Led by: Klaas Molenaar (THUAS-FINE, The Hague)
Based on the experience of over 100 microfinance institutions in Europe, the CoP will compile evidence of best practice in enabling migrant entrepreneurs to raise business finance. It will start with a core of five members are expand outwards. It hopes to be in additional funders for its work.

Professionalisation and diversity management

Led by: Adem Kumcu (UNITEE, Brussels)
Migrant entrepreneurs are not a homogeneous mass, since they stem from very varied cultures and communities. The CoP will address two problems:

  • The general low level of professionalisation of associations of migrant entrepreneurs
    Following a survey of needs, a training course will be developed covering the role of the board and its relationship with the director and staff; legal responsibilities of directors; strategic management (vision and mission); governance (serving members’ needs, transparency). The training will be delivered by UNITEE members in their respective countries, in the first place in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. It will be followed up with coaching and supported online, including via the CoP’s thematic forum.
  • The general low level of inclusion of migrant entrepreneurs in mainstream business associations, such as chambers of commerce.
    Mainstream business associations serve all business people irrespective of their origin. Moreover, in many parts of the EU, over half of new businesses are started by migrant entrepreneurs. Migrants therefore make up an increasing share of the client base of business associations, and from the angle of commercial survival, as well as of equity, it is necessary that business associations such as Chambers of Commerce review their existing services to determine whether they are migrant-friendly and how they can be improved or further developed in order to support migrant entrepreneurs better.

A survey will be carried out, and based on its findings, a package of training and support materials in diversity management will be prepared, including best practices on the subject.