Migrant entrepreneurship: Workshop in Bologna

Migrant entrepreneurship: Workshop in Bologna

27th and 28th April 2023  – Bologna, Italy

Final conference of the project MIG.EN.CUBE

Last 27th of April, Microfinanza took part to the final conference of the project MIG.EN.CUBE in Bologna.
The connecting thread of the event focused on the importance of bringing together and developing synergies between the umbrella of actors who could help the development of migrant entrepreneurship. In this respect, the plurality of actors who attended the event was very emblematic. In particular, there were numerous researchers, multiple practitioners working in the migrant entrepreneurship arena, individuals working in the financial market, and especially migrant entrepreneurs who shared their stories and experiences. This panel of actors was able on the one hand to portray the different challenges of access to entrepreneurship faced by migrants and on the other hand to communicate the crucial importance of unlocking the dialogue between all these stakeholders so that the obstacles can be removed.

Building thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems: financial and non-financial support services

In the frame of MIG.EN.CUBEMicrofinanza organized together with the Department of Management, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, one of the workshop of the conference.
This workshop has been coordinated by Davide Libralesso (Microfinanza) and Laura Toschi (University of Bologna).

The workshop focused on identifying on the one hand the (non) financial barriers and challenges faced by migrant entrepreneurs and solutions to remove these limits. This panel gathered together different actors, ranging from researchers to practitioners, who contributed to raising awareness of the obstacles faced by migrants as well as precious solutions to overcome some of these obstacles. 

Some of the concerns raised by the participants focused on the obstacles posed by banks in accessing financial services, due to their tendencies to differentiate between minorities and not minorities groups, old rating systems and a lack of understanding of migrants’ needs (Ebru Sarikaya, research associate, Universität Mannheim shared her experience the difficult access to financial loans from banks). 

A commonly perceived challenge highlighted by both researchers and practitioners when it comes to starting entrepreneurship is represented by the lack of network and guarantee providers for migrants. In fact, not having a network on which to rely, often results in a factor of financial exclusion. For these reasons, practitioners like Vittoria SanPietro highlighted the importance of public guarantee schemes which are provided in some countries, as well as schemes provided by microfinance institutions as effective tools and viable solutions to overcome business entry barriers. However, as underlined by Giuseppe Torluccio, financial instruments must be combined with equity values in order to represent viable tools for migrant entrepreneurs.


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