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Dutch Chamber Seminar: challenges for migrant entrepreneurs in Sweden

Dutch Chamber Seminar: challenges for migrant entrepreneurs in Sweden

Since 1999, more than 1 million immigrants from various countries and with different backgrounds have arrived in Sweden. Economic integration is one of the most important pathways for immigrant integration and inclusion into society. Starting your own business could be a starting point to build your life in Sweden. But what are the opportunities and obstacles for migrant entrepreneurs in this country?

Why is it so important to have a local network and why is it so hard to build it? How are other countries like the Netherlands dealing with this subject? So much focus on IT business, but what about building a business in other sectors?

We touch questions and observations like: Why are the Dutch overrepresented in starting a business? Why is it so difficult to enter the labour market, is self-employment the answer? And how can we support female migrant entrepreneurs?

In this seminar, we will learn more from the research “Identifying hidden resources and skills to promote entrepreneurship among migrant women in Swedish regions” from researchers Natasha Webster and Karen Haandrikman from Stockholm Universitet, dept of human geography.

We will hear the personal stories from Dutch freelance designer Wendy Heijne, French senior photographer Virginie Garcia and Eritrean social entrepreneur Heaven Bereket. How did they start, what pitfalls did they encounter, how are they building their businesses?

Our second panel will help us find answers and opportunities to improve the current level of state or private support needed. This panel consists of Sam Yildirim, Stockholm Länsstyrelse, Elisabeth Suzuki from Know a Talent, Hedvig Heijne from Fores, Edgar Haverkamp from the Netherlands embassy in Stockholm as well as Petya Thorne from Impact Invest.

We hope this seminar leads to a dialogue between those that support migrant entrepreneurship and those who want to start a business or take it to the next level.