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access to finance

YMCB webinar on Financial Education for better Access to Finance for Migrant and Refugee Entrepreneurs

On the 26th of November 2020, YMCB organised a webinar to present the guide on “Financial Education for better Access to Finance for Migrant and Refugee Entrepreneurs” produced by our partners from The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Specifically addressed to trainers and mentors, the webinar explained how to use this guide and integrate various practical modules in training- and mentoring – for migrant or refugee entrepreneurs.

After a short introduction, the co-authors of the guide – Julie-Marthe Lehmann, Albert Coumans and Klaas Molenaar –  presented how the various modules have been set up and can be used when developing financial education programs.  The guide is built around three fictitious entrepreneurs reflecting the diversity of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs and the related financing of their businesses, as well as their needs, the challenges and obstacles they are facing.  Every refugee or migrant is a unique person, but can be driven by different motivations: there might be the necessity to survive, the idea to explore an opportunity or the aspiration to  grow and expand. Likewise, the form in which they will become self-employed can be different. By analysing the steps each of the three entrepreneurs takes in the process of setting up and developing their enterprises, the guide aims at:

Providing a better understanding of the diversity of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs.
Defining the specific barriers that these entrepreneurs encounter in flourishing their business activities.
Offering a variety of possible solutions in the form of financial education modules for each of the stakeholders, e.g., trainers, mentors and staff of financial institutions.

The central part of the webinar was reserved for an open discussion, enabling participants to ask questions and present their opinion, insights and experiences concerning the relevant aspects of entrepreneurship for migrants in general and access to finance in detail. The discussion was steered by four main questions to the audience:

migrant entrepreneurs access to finance

22 participants representing YMCB mentors, trainers and representatives of sibling projects. They all engaged in a fruitful discussion by exchanging their experiences and approaches.

The guide and developed materials were received positively by the attendees, recognizing added value of the methodology used. Specific topics were raised such as financing for start-ups and for innovative ideas associated with high risk. Although the three typical entrepreneurial profiles (selected personas) represent the universe of migrant entrepreneurs, contextualization of training programmes has been recognized by the attendees and panelists to tailor made the financial education offering to real needs and situations of the migrant or refugee entrepreneurs in each country or region.

Participants were invited to try out the guide and training modules, and subsequently share their views and comments with the authors with a view to further improve and enrich it.

Next steps
  • Early 2021, the guide on “Financial Education for better Access to Finance for Migrant and Refugee Entrepreneurs” will be finalised and published on the YMCB website. Available for use to all. 
  • A second webinar focusing on staff of financial institutions will take place in the second half of February.
access to finance webinar