They were engineers, shopkeepers or students with bright futures ahead of them before war, hunger or global warming forced them to leave their homeland. They often encounter language and cultural barriers in their host country, making it difficult for them to enter the job market. This is why microStart and hub.brussels have joined forces to remove the obstacles to business start-up for migrants in Brussels.
Around 46% of the population of Brussels holds a non-EU nationality. These people face additional difficulties if they want to set up their own business. They include a lack of knowledge of local and national regulations, a lack of information and support services tailored to the needs of migrants and a lack of financing for business start-up.
These are the obstacles that microStart and 1819/hub.brussels set out to overcome by responding to the Council of Europe Development Bank's (CEB) call for proposals under the Partnership and Financing for Migrant Integration (PAFMI) project.
The combined expertise of two leading regional players
This project is founded on microStart's ability to provide entrepreneurship opportunities to immigrants. Created in 2011, microStart offers financial support via microcredits, as well as support before and after business start-up.
hub.brussels complements microStart's experience in the field with its knowledge of entrepreneurial support structures. The Agency has access to a wide network, in particular through its 1819 information and guidance service. To ensure the success of this ambitious project, it is important to include all these players so that they can provide migrants with the right information. Networking events for partners offering entrepreneurial support services and capacity-building actions will take place in 2023-2024 to better meet the needs of potential migrant entrepreneurs.
This project is in line with our Agency's mission of universality and accessibility. The first involves reducing inequalities in terms of entrepreneurship, a lever for individual emancipation, while the second involves facilitating and improving access to our services for all would-be entrepreneurs.
A target of 2,000 migrants supported by 2024
Thanks to this project, 2,000 migrants will receive information and advice on how to set up a business in Belgium. 500 of them will receive training, support and advice for their business project. A total of 300 migrants will have access to financial services to start their businesses. The project will involve around 20 local players.
Many migrants possess skills and talents that could be put to good use in entrepreneurial activity. The aim of this project is to remove as many obstacles as possible and enable everyone to achieve their full potential through entrepreneurship.
If you work with migrants and have questions about the administrative requirements for people born outside the European Union, join us at the project launch event on 23 June from 3pm at the Rue du Commerce Community Centre! We can answer all your questions in French, Dutch, English, Arabic, Dari and Ukrainian.
This project is funded by the European Union.
This project is funded as part of a wider agreement between the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and the European Commission (Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs); its aim is to improve the inclusion of migrants in EU Member States through the development of new partnerships and new forms of financing.