A new year, a new start for Ondernemerschap! The project, conducted by the foundation Road of Hope, aims to help integrate newcomers into Dutch society by providing training, mentoring, and a professional network for those who have recently started their own businesses but need a better understanding of the Dutch system. In total, no less than 30 participants are involved in 2 cycles of 6 months with 10 sessions each, held by professional entrepreneurs.
As a newcomer, building a business is a beautiful project but also certainly a challenge that faces cultural differences, a language barrier and sometimes a lack of professional network in the country they have moved in. Ondernemerschap attempts to remove for this group the barriers that prevent newcomers from formalising their informal businesses and running their own businesses. In order to reach this goal, the project is divided into four phases with specialised training (bureaucratic system, financial and administrative management for business), individualized mentorship (mentoring by experienced professionals), theoretical and practical knowledge (Cooperation of specialized management organizations such as Itzinya), and space for exchanging (with other beginning entrepreneurs and experts).
The 6th of March was held the first of the ten sessions of this year with a new team and a significant change for the participants since the class are now taught in Dutch and in English. On this occasion, Olmo Van Beurden, a business coach and one of the project’s mentors, spoke about how is it to build a business, presented the phases of the project and shared his experience. It was also a special moment for the last year’s team of the project who received their certificate for the completion of the program. Following the meeting, refugees had a good time together around Syrian food and pleasant conversation, sharing their history and experiences.
Mona, an Iranian entrepreneur in the Netherlands declares “Six years ago, I started up my alterations shop. Now, because of my job, I have gained more Dutch friends and acquaintances. I don’t think I am either an Iranian or a Dutch person, I am a citizen of the world. I am a person who lives here and feels at ease. Here is my home!”.
Entrepreneurship can be an important ally in the integration process of migrants. Refugees can gain financial independence, grow ideas, and build social networks that help with social inclusion.
What to get more information and the project? Visit our page dedicated to it through this Link or by contacting us at +31 6 85296828.