The idea and concept of the hubs
27% of the recognized refugees living in North-West-Europe (NWE) have a business background. While some of them may wish to restart their own business, these refugee re-starters (RR) encounter various difficulties in the existing business support structure attempting to do so (such as the bureaucracy, and the language barrier). As the NWE economy has a different structure and distinct market conditions compared to their home countries, these RR have specific needs for help during their attempt to re-start. The project ENTER TO TRANSFORM addresses these needs and goes beyond the existing structures, which are difficult to access by RR. The core of the project is the development of hubs. These hubs offer mentoring services and function as “door openers” for RR to enter existing entrepreneurial infrastructure. By helping RR to access existing support infrastructure the project gives them the tools they need to re-start while avoiding parallel structures.
The hubs will provide a physical and virtual meeting places to engage all stakeholders in RR business (RRs, local civil society and governmental actors, local economy and intermediaries such as banks, city councils) in a new and different way. The hub will also provide mentoring and support RRs with their specific needs (e.g. lack of access to existent support infrastructures, lack of networks, lack of knowledge) to re-start. The hubs will provide support for the RR during the phases of stand-up, start-up and scaling by activities that range from ‘soft’ measures and activities like inspiring, sharing ideas, networking, opening doors with existing business support organizations etc. to ‘hard’ measure like assisting with identifying skills, developing specific skills and knowledge, mentoring on finance or markets, producing business plans etc.
The hubs are adapted to the specific circumstances and the business ecosystems in the partner regions. In most cases, the hubs are facilities of the implementation partners. In each country, an implementation partner will adopt the hub approach (functional & spatial) or integrate the concept into an existing regional organisation, building the ecosystem including networks involving the stakeholders and reciprocal mentoring.
A similar transnational effort does not yet exist in this form in NWE.