This interesting SEWF-D round table addressed the issue of immigrants’ and refugees’ access to the world of entrepreneurship (hence the name migrapreneurship). The event had four speakers that all have dedicated their professional and personal life to this topic. Usman Iftikhar, CEO of Catalysr, an incubator supporting young immigrant entrepreneurs in Australia; Alice Bosley, CEO of Five One Labs, an incubator operating in Iraq and supporting local young people developing their business ideas; Kristina Vayda, executive director of FAIRE, a French endowment fund whose mission is to support immigrants, both financially and technically. to become successful entrepreneurs, and finally Mahir Momand, CEO and Director of Regional Opportunities Australia – ROA, a non-profit organization encouraging integration and professional development of immigrants in the Australian rural communities.
Specific interventions/programs for the migratory populations are often ignored. This is however fundamental according to Usman Iftikhar: “The migrant, when he leaves his homeland, also leaves all his certainties: both emotional and economic. The migrant has to start from scratch and not by choice. Their precariousness is often considered a negative element by the traditional banking system and access to the capital market is complicated. For these reasons, it is necessary to intervene: to guarantee a new starting point for them “.
In addition to promote integration, it is essential to make the most of the potential of migration. As Alice Bosley said, “migrants are a source of different social and cultural inputs”. This is strength, and if properly exploited, can guarantee “a considerable economic plus for those who welcome them”, added Kristina Vayda. This is why it is necessary to combat the prejudice present in many host countries, which sees migration as an obstacle to both economic and social development. This is why the four speakers not only work directly with migrants, providing them with the financial and human capital necessary for starting their entrepreneurial career, but also with advocacy activities to raise awareness to favors integration.
The round table also discussed another important issue: the relationship between climate change and migration. Two main considerations emerged. The first is of a corrective nature: climate change has created a new category of migrants, environmental migrants, characterized by a strong heterogeneity. Therefore, a greater effort is required to recognize different backgrounds and personalize support. The other consideration is of a preventive nature, i.e. the duty of all intermediaries, operating between emerging companies and the capital market, to integrate the so-called Triple Bottom Line, i.e. the consideration of social and environmental parameters, as well as economic ones, to favor the growth of entrepreneurial realities oriented towards sustainability.
Article written by Paolo Caprarelli