Did you know, one in seven UK companies are set up by entrepreneurs who have moved from another country? While the word ‘migrant’ can sometimes be read with contentious connotations, particularly in some media, the phrase migrant entrepreneurs is well used to categorise business people who have started up a company in a country where they weren’t born. At Allia we welcome entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and nationalities and believe those who have moved to the UK from other parts of the world have a lot of cultural knowledge, experience and skills to offer.
We are running a business support programme specially geared towards people who have moved to the UK and are looking to set up a business, to help them overcome challenges such as language and cultural barriers, and difficulties accessing finance.
Last month, we held the first workshop in our Peterborough Future Business Centre specifically for migrant entrepreneurs. The workshop entitled ‘How to successfully raise finance and start to grow your business’ was run by the Allia Serious Impact programme to help entrepreneurs start and grow their business. 80% of participants on the workshop were of a nationality outside of the UK including Japan, Poland, Zimbabwe, India and Italy.
The workshop focused on aspects of finance such as funding and equity, also concentrating on what investors look for, and how to grow as a start-up. New migrants can also experience social exclusion and isolation when starting up a business; the workshop aimed to relieve some of these stresses by bringing together a like-minded group who face similar challenges.
Attendee Bartlomiej Wydmuch said: “It was the best training I’ve attended – a lot of practical knowledge and a hint of how to take care of your business’s finances. It was a great friendly atmosphere and I met a lot of interesting people. I was surprised that you can learn so much in such a short time, all in one place.”
Barclays manager Wasim Hanif led some of the workshop, and focused on advice around how to get funding, and investors. He said: “It is great to see that Allia are supporting migrant entrepreneurs in setting up and growing their business ideas”.
The entrepreneurial activity of migrants is near double that of UK-born individuals. These businesses generate many jobs and other opportunities, and Allia wants to help them thrive. Some examples of businesses of the entrepreneurs who attended the workshop include an ethically sourced jewellery company, a forensic science service, and an organic cosmetics business.
Anna Urbanska, Business Support Associate at Allia says: “It was the first time we organised a workshop for this specific group of entrepreneurs in Peterborough. The team was innovative, open and energetic and it was great to see many ideas were discussed.”
Serious Impact will be running another workshop for migrants in Peterborough on 14th November entitled ‘Sales, Marketing and Effective Communication’ at the Future Business Centre:
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