Network-building for
self-employment of refugees

Some refugees already have experience of running their own business or want to set a new business as an alternative to getting a job. The 9 Conversations project helps you to set up your own business in your new host country by providing a training that tells you both about the specific national requirements and the general principles of setting up and running a small business. An important part of the 9 Conversations project is meeting people locally who can help you.

Refugee flows across Europe, especially after 2015, have increased significantly. Many European Member States, in the context of integration policy for refugees in local societies, organise training programs in the corresponding national language. The immediate next step is refugees permanently established in one Member State to join the labor market. Some northern European countries, such as Denmark, are pursuing a policy of helping refugees learn the language through employment, notably in the context of specific funded programs, so that they can join the labor market at an early stage of their establishment to the country.

Other Member States, particularly in the South such as Greece and Italy, where refugee arrivals are dramatically larger, are forced to concentrate their efforts mainly on saving people arriving on dramatic conditions and taking care for their basic needs such as medical care and accommodation. A common fact with regard to these countries is that most of the refugees consider them as entry points having as target for their establishment some country of Northern Europe.

Whatever the national policy, there is a stage, two or three years after their arrival, when refugees cease to attract adequate support. At this stage many still do not have sufficient linguistic knowledge to be able to easily enter the labor market. Due to this fact (as well as due to other issues), the unemployment rate for refugees is remarkably higher compared to other segments of the population.