The Fresh Start migrant entrepreneurship project was responding to the real world impact of migration, especially forced migration as a result of conflicts and climate change pressures. With increasing numbers of people moving across the globe, there is a huge need to adopt policies which help to integrate migrants into host communities and to enable them to make use of the skills and expertise which they bring with them. The project addresses a number of SDGs, in particular SDG4 on quality education, global citizenship and education for sustainable development. Without a complete root and branch culture change in education policies and practice we will never achieve all the SDGs. It also addresses the need to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs as set out in the European Union’s Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan (European Commission, 2013).
- To harness the prior expertise and resources of the migrant community in order to benefit the wider host community
- To enhance the integration and well-being of migrants and host community
- To add value to the host community and migrant community
- To create positive perceptions of refugees in the destination countries
- To create connections with the entrepreneur community and the integration mediators in the destination countries
This programme, funded by the EU in 2017-2019, brought together 3 teams from 3 countries - the Netherlands, the UK, and Belgium and involved 3 universities, respectively Zuyd University of Applied Sciences (ZUYD, location Maastricht), London South Bank University (LSBU), and University College Leuven Limburg, (UCLL) in the province of Limburg, Belgium.
Fresh Start was a two year programme which was designed to enable 120 participants (40 from each country) to develop their entrepreneurial skills and their business ideas.