2019/Latvian Group about Entrepreneurship and Migration

Interview of Agnese Žodziņa from the Latvian Group after the Training Course in Berlin "The2Problems" 2019

According to your opinion, which role does entrepreneurship play in the integration of Migrants?

I am not well versed about the situation of migrants, I can only answer on the behalf of asylum seekers and refugees. In my opinion at the first stages of integration the entrepreneurship is not an important role, as we know first comes basic needs like housing, food, communication - language. As a longer term goal to be entrepreneurial is something a person can strive for, if it something he or she desires, as it would help introducing yourself as a valuable member in the community, and help break down some misconceptions people might have.

Which entrepreneurial opportunities do migrants and refugees have in your country? -  In Latvia we have few NGOs like Droša Māja, Gribu Palīdzēt Bēgļiem and Red Cross, where I work. Droša Māja has recently started a new program - Business Incubator for newcomers - https://patverums-dm.lv/en/about-migrant-talent-garden-business-incubator-for-newcomers/998 to which we can refer people if they come with their ideas, but this can happen only after you have gotten the refugee or alternative status.

What can we do to foster the integration of refugees and migrants? -  It is not an easy question to tackle. It has to take political will to change these questions, because all these initiatives fall short when there's no support in the law or any political party that want to talk about migration. As people we can open to help, open to communicate and include. That is all.

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