All people, regardless of where they come from, should have the opportunity to reach their full potential and occupy a place in society. When it comes to refugees, however, the reality often looks quite different. Many have business experience, but lack access to the market.
Promoting start-ups promotes justice
With this in mind, the pioneering project SINGA Factory - Innovation Through Diversity has successfully launched a six-month start-up programme with the support of the Migros Pioneer Fund. It is aimed at helping people with refugee and migrant backgrounds to set up business on their own. The pioneering project is already running in Zurich and Geneva and is now working to establish the start-up programme all across Switzerland. The aim is to encourage other stakeholders to use its groundbreaking model, to the benefit not only of the business location, but of society as a whole.
The programme’s participants, from countries as diverse as Syria, Indonesia, Afghanistan, South Africa, Kosovo and Eritrea, have varying levels of knowledge. As well as workshops, sharing ideas within work groups and presenting business ideas, a core component of the start-ups programme is working with mentors.
Who coaches who is a matter of matching up specialist expertise with professional experience. But the profile of personality, interests and requirements also needs to be right. Language skills and availability are also important factors. Ideally, the partnership will be enriching for both sides, be motivatingly stimulating and achieve a permanent shift in perspectives.
What SINGA has achieved so far
SINGA has already helped around 100 people to move forward with their projects and business ideas. It has led to 15 spin-offs, from catering businesses to an IT consulting agency.
Find out more about this Migros community involvement initiative - perhaps it's just what you're looking for?
Photo/stage: Simon Tanner