Startup Refugees entrepreneurship programme wins its category in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards
Finland’s Startup Refugees has won the Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship category in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. The results of the competition were announced in Bilbao on 14 November. The inclusive activities of Startup Refugees support asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants in finding employment, starting a business and developing skills.
“It is an honour and a great pleasure for us to be selected for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards. Supporting refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants in entrepreneurship requires a lot of legwork, creativity, patience, a positive attitude and keeping up with the changing regulations,” Kati Lievonen and Muntaser Al-Hamad, representatives of the entrepreneurship programme, say.
To Lievonen and Al-Hamad, the award is an acknowledgement that their work has greater social significance beyond helping individual immigrants in integration and entrepreneurial activities. “Immigrant entrepreneurs offer a great opportunity for European countries to contribute to society, boost competitiveness and build the future,” Lievonen and Al-Hamad add.
What is Startup Refugees?
The inclusive Startup Refugees entrepreneurship programme supports asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants in the path towards work, entrepreneurship and skills development. It offers participants information and helps develop skills and an entrepreneurial attitude through tailored training, market validation, business advice, mentoring and networking events.
The innovative nature of the project is reflected in the participation of people belonging to the target group in the planning and implementation of a culture-sensitive and multilingual entrepreneurship programme. Half of the staff in Startup Refugees are immigrants and some have a refugee background.
As a by-product of the programme, the first fund to support the entrepreneurship of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers was established in 2021.
European Enterprise Promotion Awards
The European Enterprise Promotion Awards reward the most successful promoters of entrepreneurship and business across Europe. The prize is awarded in several categories promoting entrepreneurship.
Jaana Valkokallio, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 932 (contact person for the national competition)
Aicha Manai, Managing Director, Startup Refugees, tel. +358 44 555 3220
Kati Lievonen, Head of the entrepreneurship programme, tel. +358 44 237 9572