EVA- a European Entrepreneurship VET Model and Assessment Framework for Ethnic Minorities is a project co-financed through ERASMUS+ Programme whose main goal is to support and promote migrant and ethnic minority entrepreneurs and help these groups to overcome difficulties which might prevent them from starting and growing businesses in Europe.
This project directly addresses two topics which are extremely important for the European Union: migration and entrepreneurship. Through the promotion of entrepreneurship among migrants we can reduce the number of people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion, a goal targeted in the EU 2020 Strategy, whilst increasing integration and intercultural cohesion within Europe. The EU commission has publicly recognised that “migrants represent an important pool of potential entrepreneurs that can contribute effectively to the EU economy”. However, people born outside the EU tend to have fewer employment opportunities than those born in the EU. Moreover, skilled migrant workers often occupy jobs for which they are overqualified. Additionally, many migrants wish to start their own businesses within Europe, which would contribute to job creation and growth in the EU. However, they often fail due the different challenges they face. Research shows that problems facing migrant/ethnic entrepreneurs include: access to finance and support services; language barriers; limited business management and marketing skills and over-concentration in low entry threshold activities where the scope for breakouts or diversification into mainstream markets may be limited.
This partnership will endeavour to contribute to solve these problems by offering an innovative training model based on the detection of and accreditation of the entrepreneurship skills of migrants. It will offer a training platform and programme which can enhance the abilities of migrants to succeed in their businesses.
The partnership behind the project is made up of organisations, from 5 countries (Denmark, Italy, Germany, Malta and Cyprus), that will create an online interactive learning platform which will include:
- An Evaluation and Orientation System: A skills assessment tool that will measure the “degree of entrepreneurship” of the individual. This system will be integrated into an “orientation” module that will guide the learner into relevant training according to his needs.
- An Entrepreneurship Training Programme for Migrants: The programme will include modules such as: Entreprise skills; starting your business; access to finance; sales and marketing; language, culture, communication and networking.
- An Enterprise Simulator: The partnership will develop a Virtual Reality simulation environment (VR) that trains the user by reproducing real situations in a purely virtual environment.
- The project will also develop an online system for recognition and certification of competencies based on the ECVET logic which will provide the participants with a recognition of their qualifications and which will be recognised by key stakeholders in the partner countries.
The Learning programme will be piloted with migrants in each country in order to test its effectiveness and will also be shared with key stakeholders at the national level ensuring their understanding, adoption and recommendation of the platform within key learning environments (job centres, learning institutes etc).
Finally, the project will produce a collection of experiences and policy recommendations based on the testing of the different methodologies developed in the project which can be used to recommend actions for relevant stakeholders at European Level.
What we have done
As our project is now moving into its final phase we are ready to promote and disseminate some results. Focus in the first year have been to create a well-structured orientation and evaluation system, where the potential entrepreneur can discover their enterprise skills. Recently we have started the pilot test of the online platform, which will include the entreprise simulator.
We launched the platform on April presenting it in a webinar addressed to a group of stakeholders (see the webinar).
The platform to test the entreprise skills (available in 5 languages) will be tested in each country of the partnership, but you can also be part of the pilot test – either by trying out the platform and giving your feedback or if you work with/teach migrants/refugees, with whom you can test it. All feedback is valued.
You can access the sections of the platform in different languages through the website and HERE you will find a short document to guide you through the platform and test.
Go to Discover Your Enterprise Skills to begin exploring!
Follow up and engagement
If you are interested in keeping updated with the project and its activities, you can follow our EVA Facebook page. Here we also post relevant links and news about entrepreneurship and startups for migrants and refugees.
We encourage you to engage with us on the page and share your experiences, needs and thoughts on ethnic entrepreneurship – whether you are a consultant, counsellor, representative of a local authority or business association, or you are an aspiring entrepreneur yourself. Your input is valuable!
EVA Project partner - Italy