Intervenção social, Investir, Município

Integration and migrant entrepreneurship

20, November 2014
  • [Translate to Inglês:] DELI - Mesa Redonda Museu do Fado
    [Translate to Inglês:] DELI - Mesa Redonda Museu do Fado

The Fado Museum hosted on November 19, a roundtable to discuss the support of migrant entrepreneurs within the project DELI – Diversity in the Local Economy and Local Integration - promoted by the Council of Europe. Several actors related to the economy, entrepreneurship and immigrant communities in Lisbon participated in the debate.

In the end, Cristina Santos Silva, coordinator of the DELI-Lisbon, said that "the goal of this meeting was largely succeeded" because it allowed the consolidation of the work already developed by a platform of local agents in the development of integration policies and promotion of migrant entrepreneurship, where the Lisbon Municipality plays a pivotal role.

Paulo Soeiro de Carvalho, director of Municipal Economy and Innovation of the municipality opened the roundtable, which also included the participation of Lilia Kolombet, coordinator of the Council of Europe, and Jan Niessen, Director of the Migration Policy Group.


Lisbon, tolerant and multiethnic city

Paulo Soeiro de Carvalho stressed the importance of this project to the strategy of the municipality within the economy, innovation and entrepreneurship, underlying that Lisbon "is a tolerant city with a large multicultural and multiethnic tradition."

Furthermore, he also pointed out that inclusion is an important part for developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the city and considers that DELI may open some doors inside the incubation spaces already created within the Startup Lisbon.

To Lilia Kolombet and Jan Niessen is not by chance that Lisbon integrates a set of ten European partner cities, because, according to those in charge of the project, due to its geographic location, demographic reality and experience, the Portuguese capital has an important role in the implementation of policies at the local level.

The philosophy of this project, they remind us, lies in the implementation of local integration policies and the promotion of entrepreneurship among migrant populations, so that later, at the macro level, solutions are sought at European level. And the conference to be held in June next year, marking the end of the project will aim to draw some conclusions and find paths in that sense, from the various experiences gathered since then.

The two European leaders of DELI also stressed the importance of supporting migrant entrepreneurs in the development of local economies and consolidating the right to equality contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.


Overcome barriers

Before the completion of the two panels that addressed the role of companies / migrant entrepreneurs and the municipality, André Carmo, coordinator of the DELI-Lisbon platform, discussed some challenges for migrant entrepreneurship in the capital, analysing the results of a workshop held on October 27.

The investigator said that the main problems experienced are access to resources, discrimination, distrust and prejudice and language barriers, and believes that training, awareness raising and institutional support are fundamental to overcome them. Thus, "the roles that DELI-Lisbon Platform partners can play are mainly related to supporting the integration of migrants and supporting the development and structuring of their business," he added.

The rich discussion that brought together representatives from organizations like the Islamic Center of Bangladesh, the Luso-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Aga Khan Foundation, the Association Renovar a Mouraria, the Micre the Gebalis and several municipal offices, deepened the knowledge of the Lisbon context and shed some light upon the future work to be developed in the project, said Cristina Santos Silva in the balance of the meeting.

"We leave with more confidence and a stronger group of partners to support entrepreneurship among migrant communities in Lisbon," she said, noting that the next step is the second roundtable to be held in February next year.

Intervenção social, Investir, Município