26 April 2019

Joint Conference on Migrant Entrepreneurship Support and Access to Finance | 3-4 April 2019
The two-day conference on migrant entrepreneurship took place in Barcelona at the beginning of April and was jointly organised by the M-UP and Magnet projects.

The first morning’s contributions offered a qualitative as well as quantitative overview on access to finance and financial needs of migrant entrepreneurs across Europe. Such synopses were followed by the passionate storytelling of Ousman Uman, Natasha Mayerhofer, Babacar Ndoye, Norma Véliz, and Pelin Doğan. Voicing their own experiences of struggles, determination, and achievements, these migrant entrepreneurs not only stimulated the afternoon’s policy discussion facilitated by Prof. Dr. Daniela Bobeva, but also inspired the second day’s opening workshop debates.

Here, in a world café session, representatives of microfinance organisations presented their accomplishments[1] and limitations[2] to shifting groups of participants, before illustrating examples of technical and business tools[3] they have recently adopted. Afterwards, further collective conversations on the focal points of the conference (access to finance, political representation, regulation as well as intercultural issues, etc.) fed the preliminary work of the Barcelona Declaration, a forthcoming manifesto on migrant entrepreneurship which is being developed by the joint project consortia.

The main strengths of the two-day meeting were certainly the exemplary coordination between the consortia as well as the thought-provoking group discussions. Besides this, a large number of participants found the presence and interaction with the migrant entrepreneurs themselves as the most galvanising moment of the conference.

More information about MAGNET is available on the project website. For more information about M-UP, it is possible to visit this page.  

[1] e.g. financial and mentoring support at both the individual and community level.
[2] e.g. establishing relationships of trust in new local contexts.
[3] e.g. chat-bots for costumer service, block-chain investments for transcontinental microfinance schemes, etc..