1st German Stakeholder Meeting & Midterm Conference
After the welcoming by Dr Judith Terstriep and the introduction of participants, Ralf Sänger from the German IQ Network gave a short presentation on migrant entrepreneurship in Germany.
In his presentation, he claimed that between 2005 and 2019, the proportion of people with a migrant background among the self-employed has increased. Meanwhile, 20% of the companies in Germany are founded by a person with a migration background. The industry structure is becoming more and more similar to the structure of non-migrants. Thus, gastronomy or trade are no longer among the most important industries but start-ups in knowledge-intensive services. In this context, Mr Sänger pointed out that the second generation, which was already born in Germany, belongs, according to statistics, to migrants but might feel differently. The businesses in Germany are founded by migrants and refugees from different countries of origin and not by people from the former guest-worker countries. 26% of the refugees who want to start a business in Germany were already self-employed in their home country. This again underlines the great potential of migrant and refugee entrepreneurship. Regarding the Corona pandemic, Mr Sänger stated that the decline among the self-employed without a migration background was almost three times higher than those self-employed with a migration background.
The overview on migrant entrepreneurship was followed by a presentation on the Enter to Transform project. The project's goal is to establish a supporting infrastructure for refugee founders. Since no parallel structures are to be created, parts of the work must be transferred to existing partners. Each of the four German partners presented their roles and competencies. It became clear that the knowledge builds on each other well. Currently, the first applications for the program are being accepted.
In the discussion, it was highlighted that all institutions are important for an ecosystem and each potential founder has to be picked up individually where they are. The already existing hubs have signalled their interest in participating. Furthermore, a holistic approach seems important, as refugees need different advice.