Refugee entrepreneurship pilot launched in UK

refugee entrepreneurship
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A UK programme has launched, aimed at providing entrepreneurship training for refugees through partnerships with local businesses.

The programme, which is jointly funded by the UK Home Office and the National Lottery Community Fund, will operate under the oversight of the UK’s leading entrepreneurship foundation the Centre for Entrepreneurs. Four pilots in Belfast, Bristol, the East of England and Staffordshire will be delivered, working directly with refugees and local businesses to deliver tailored refugee entrepreneurship training in order to support refugees hoping to start their own business.

Centre for Entrepreneurs chairman Oliver Pawle said: “We are grateful for support from the Home Office and The National Lottery Community Fund in helping us realise the vision we set out in our report last year. The Centre for Entrepreneurs is excited to work with the delivery partners over the coming year to help over 100 refugees into entrepreneurship and to prove that tailored business support strengthens integration.”

The four refugee entrepreneurship pilot programmes will offer a range of training and support services for refugees, including:

  • Volunteer-led mentoring for new and early stage entrepreneurs;
  • Bursaries to be made available for emerging refugee-led startup companies;
  • Peer-to-peer workshops and support groups;
  • Professional development training; and
  • Establishing support networks within refugee communities, to facilitate refugees’ access to education and employment opportunities.

Mark Purvis, Deputy Director for England at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “By putting people in the lead and championing entrepreneurship, this project, made possible by National Lottery players, will support refugees to fulfil their potential and thrive.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The UK has world leading resettlement programmes which provide sanctuary to thousands of the most vulnerable refugees every year. It is vital that these refugees are given the best chance to flourish. This project will help them to build businesses and make a real success of their new lives in the UK.”

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