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Stories of migrant entrepreneurs who made it.

Inspiring stories of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs who embarked on the entrepreneurial journey and succeeded.  These stories feature participants of the YMCB programme, YMCB mentors and inspiring people we’ve met during the implementation of the project. They were kind enough to share their experiences with us and give a piece of advice to those who would like to set-up their own business.


Amila Jasarevic

Amila participated in the YMCB programme in Austria. She is planning to set up a social enterprise focused on professional development of women and business development for female entrepreneurs, working beyond borders.

Be My Vision

Alia Jarboue

Alia Jarboue is a founder of Be My Vision, a foundation for partially sighted and blind people in the Netherlands and Morocco. When the global pandemic of Covid-19 hit their operation, she had to reinvent the business model.

Beyond Magical

Linda Ajar

Linda is an independent trainer and coach focused on nurturing entrepreneurship mindset. She provides online and offline training for groups and individuals.

Aferdite Shani

Aferdite Shani

Aferdite is an independent consultant and the president of ICSE – International Center for Southern Europe, an organisation dealing with social inclusion, research and consultancy in the field of European design for inclusion.


Luloloko Mayisokolua

Lululoko started as a painter and then studied with master craftsmen in Florence. Now he has an atelier in the center of Florence, selling clothes and paintings, and working on social inclusion projects with local communities.

Cyprien Sessou

Cyprien Sessou

Cyprien moved to Italy in 2001 where he later set up a cleaning company, and along the way, he diversified his activities based on the needs of his customers. Now he runs a multiservice enterprise.

Shahawate Loubna Zakia

Zakia Dip

Zakia Dip has a successful Lebanese traiteur - Shahawate Loubnane - in Casablanca, Morocco. Due to the impact of the Covid-19, she had to reinvent her business. It was a success.

Nora Dardir BEIT association

Nora Dardir

Nora is the founder and president of BEIT association based in Brussels, Belgium. BEIT is a an association promoting integration and diversity among cultures with a special interest in the Middle East.


Azra Bekic

Azra is a horse assisted coach, NLP trainer and the founder of Grow Centar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Currently living in Austria, she wants to establish a horse-assisted training centre in Vienna.

We Exist Obada Otabashi

Obada Otabashi

Obada fled Syria and settled in Belgium where he founded We Exist with like-minded individuals. We Exist is a Syrian restaurant facilitating access into the labour market for those who fled persecution and conflict.

Iva Tsolova JAMBA career for all

Iva Tsolova

Iva is a co-founder and CEO of JAMBA - Careers for All, an organisation providing training and facilitating labour market integration for people with disabilities in Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Ricardo Martinez Herrera T-IL

Ricardo Martínez Herrera

Ricardo is an artist and the founder of T-IL, a company assisting clients in more than 10 countries. Originally from Mexico, he moved to Belgium where he embarked on his entrepreneurial journey.