Title Boosting EntrepreneurShip Tools FOR Migrants
Project Number 2010-1-PT1-LEO05-05164
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text Immigrant entrepreneurs are specially needed of business support. By working in highly competitive markets and by being subject to additional burdens than those experienced by native entrepreneurs, immigrant entrepreneurs are likely to face high bankruptcy rates. To address these issues, the Boosting Entrepreneurship Tools for Migrants (BEST FORM) project aims at strengthening the community-based business advice (CBBA) model within immigrant communities. This model provides a tailor made business support service, imbedded in the cultural context of the immigrant, provided by own local ethnic leaders and problem-solving oriented and, as a consequence, more likely to help immigrant entrepreneurs to overcome the intercultural barriers that negatively affect their business development.
Immigrants have a special tendency for self-employment (and, consequently, for entrepreneurship). However, the way towards opening their own business is jeopardized by cultural and linguistic barriers, as well as by lack of knowledge of legislation (in tax and labor, for example) and of other entrepreneurial aspects.
Mainstream entities and migrant-oriented associations intend to contribute to surpassing these barriers, by offering business counseling for immigrants. Studies – such as those led by the European Network on Ethnic Minority Business – indicate that this assistance does not always fulfill the needs of immigrant entrepreneurs, since it does not usually tackle the mixed embeddedness (structural factors, cultural conditions and personal characteristics) to which immigrants are subjected in an efficient manner. As a result, immigrant entrepreneurs are not adequately accompanied in terms of business management, leading to a high rate of bankruptcy among immigrant entrepreneurs.
BEST FORM intends to enhance business advice in the countries involved and to ensure the long term sustainability of this activity. In this context, the aim is to apply the community-based business advice (CBBA) model and specially the training materials implemented under the EQUAL Program “Building Entrepreneurship” in United Kingdom (“Supporting Inclusion in Enterprise Development” project). This model consists in providing business advice through immigrant-oriented associations, by training local ethnic leaders to perform such tasks and by specially strengthening interpersonal, communicate on and client-advisory skills. Such model will be adapted according to each country reality, assessed through a needs analysis report. The main outcomes of BEST FORM will consist of two handbooks (one supporting the pilot training courses, the other being guidelines for future training courses), pilot training courses (implemented in 2 partner countries, in order to test the content adaptation of CBBA methodology) and an interactive tool. The handbooks and the interactive tool will be available in all languages of the countries involved.
As a result of this project, a consolidation of the business advice activity in each country involved, the acquisition of competences and tools in providing business counseling in an immigration context (improving the potential benefits of such activity) and the enhancement of long term sustainability of immigrant entrepreneurial activities is expected - which shall contribute to combating poverty and social exclusion among immigrant communities.
BEST FORM consortium involves 8 institutions, from 7 different countries, all having experience in European projects with some of them having participated in or coordinated projects related to immigrant issues (Building Entrepreneurship, COPFIM, IMMI Train, Int.Comp).
Description Boosting Entrepreneurship Tools for Migrants (BEST FORM) is a Leonardo da Vinci-Transfer of Innovation Project that intends to strengthen the community-based business advice (CBBA) model within immigrant communities. Specifically, BEST FORM aims at enhancing interpersonal skills of business advisers working with immigrant entrepreneurs, helping these entrepreneurs to overcome the intercultural barriers that negatively affect their business development and to create the conditions for the replication of the CBBA model in Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain. The main target group of BEST FORM is immigrant-related associations that already provide business support to their members. In terms of results, BEST FORM will provide a series of materials – Guideline Handbook, Support Handbook and Interactive Tool – to be tested in 2 pilot courses in Italy and in Portugal – that can easily contribute to the replication and dissemination of the CBBA model in other contexts.
Access for disadvantaged
Other Service Activities
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
material for open learning
BEST FORM will develop 3 main products, to be tested and validated in 2 pilot courses, in Portugal and in Italy:
• Support Handbook – which shall guide the trainees during the training sessions of CBBA model. This Handbook will be strategically designed to address the skill needs of business advisers. Moreover, the Handbook will consist of practical and useful information for business advisers to address immigrant entrepreneurship issues (business plan development, financial management, communicational skills, and counseling skills, among others) and contain success cases (very concrete case studies) of successful business advice activities among immigrant entrepreneurs in other countries.
• Guideline Handbook –this Handbook will provide general guidelines for the implementation of future training courses by the target group itself (immigrant-oriented associations) and other stakeholders;
• Interactive tool – in which not only the content of the pilot training course will be available but also space will be provided for the exchange of experience among immigrant entrepreneurs and for the development of new contents, as suggested by the target group.