Multiplier event 1

Facilitating Migrant Entrepreneurship
Supporting refugees and migrants to start their own business

The first multiplier event was organised from Thessaloniki, as an international event on Thursday the of October 2022. It has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions and moved from Italy to Greece.

The aim for the event was:

    • To learn from the supporting organisations in Thessaloniki
    • To learn from Greek migrants that has started their own business
    • To present some of the work done in Mastering 9 Conversations
    • To have feedback of what we are doing
    • To establish contact for further collaboration

    The target group of the event was:

    • Greek and European authorities
    • Support organisations for Migrant / refugees
    • The project team

    The event was divided into several parts:

    1. An overall presentation of the project
    2. Presentation from two of the most important supporting organizations in Greece
    3. Presentation of the enhanced 9 Conversation programme (IO-1 to IO-4)
    4. A round table discussion with Supporting organizations from Greece, Italy and Lithuania
    5. Life stories from three migrants that have started their own business in Thessaloniki

    Some participants

    Presentation of work done in Mastering 9 conversations

    Thorleif Hjeltnes, the project manager, from the research foundation TISIP, gave a short introduction of the aims and the tasks in the Mastering 9 conversation project.

    Professor Demosthenes Stamatis and professor Thorleif Hjeltnes

    Refugee flows and integration of refugees into local communities

    Two very experienced persons on the issues of supporting Refugees and Asylum seekers in Greece, having both acted as government officers in the Greek Ministry of Migration during the intense period of the immigration crisis (2015-2017) were invited to present their experiences and opinions: 

    • Nicholas Connolly Rangos, representing SolidarityNow Org, one of the more active refugee support organisations in Thessaloniki and Greece.
    • Kostantinos Kousaxidis, representing International Organization for Migration (IOM) responsible for refugees integration in the area of Thessaloniki and Northern Greece.
    Nicholas Connolly Rangos and Kostantinos Kousaxidis

    Train the facilitator course (IO-4)

    The multiplier event was postponed because of Covid-19, and at the first multiplier event the project team could present more news and updates than originally planned. As a frame for this presentation the Train the facilitator course was used. Regarding the aim of the event and the target group that took part in the event this approach was most beneficial.

    The extended 9 Conversation course

    Thorleif Hjeltnes presented how the 9 Conversations course now has been extended  with more videos (IO-1) to cover to level of users. The self-evaluation tool has also been extended covering more Learning outcomes (increased from 4 to 6 levels in the EU EntreComp Framwork, IO-2).

    Demosthenes Stamatis and Thorleif Hjeltnes
    Example of how to use the Ostwewalder Canvas
    Train the facilitator course

    Marco Temperini from University of Rome presented the Train the facilitator (trainer) course.
    The train the facilitator course should give potential trainers:

    • the knowledge about the E9C course content and structure
    • the necessary technical capabilities to manage an issue of the E9C course
    Professor Stamatis and professor Marco Temperini
    The 9 steps in the Train the facilitator course

    Round table: “Integration of migrants into the labour market”

    Three Refugee Support Organisations (RSOs) from Greece were invited to the panel for the round table discussion:

    • Albatros Volunteer, Thessaloniki, represented by Mrs. Maria Topalidou
    • OMNES, Kilkis, represented by Mr. Dimitris Demertzis
    • HumanRights360, Athens, represented Mr. Panos Douros
    • CreA, Italy, represented by Mrs. Paola Berbeglia
    • Socialiniu Projektu Institutas (SPI), Lithuania, represented by Mrs. Julita Pigulevičienė
    Three participants from three Greek Refugee Support Organisations (RSOs) and
    two of the M9C project partners, supporting refugees in Italy and Lithuania

    The above RSOs collaborate with the International Hellenic University (IHU), advising on issues related to refugees integration to local communities. They are giving feedback to IHU/Project running tests on the EU Skills Profile Tool for 3rd Country Nationals. They have also raised interest in testing the M9C questionnaire regarding the identification of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills of refugees.

    During the Multiplier Event they had the opportunity to present and exchange their practices with the project partners regarding labor market integration and on cases of refugees having started (or intent to start) their own businesses. Valuable discussions both during the round table and during the breaks helped project partners to understand better the target groups both for the entrepreneurial course addressing refugees as well as for the train the trainers course addressing RSOs.

    Refugees telling their Business Story

    Three Refugees that have managed successfully to start and run their own business in Thessaloniki were invited to present their cases.

    • Fa-Da Derakhshandeh (Amin), from Irak, now having Greek nationality. He is running a Pedestrian Kiosk (Periptero) in a central Street in Thessaloniki, selling anything from tobacco, phone cards, water, soft drinks, newspapers, magazines, ice creams, and more.
    • Serhat Deniz, from Kurdistan, Turkey. He is running a well know Café-Bar-Restaurant in Thessaloniki.
    • Abdull Quitankal, from Siria. He is running a newly established Tailor Shop

    They vividly described the process of setting up their businesses, answered many questions to event participants and project members about the conditions and difficulties of opening a business, faced by someone who is an immigrant.  

    Our Host

    The International Hellenic University (IHU) hosted the multiplier event in the best possible way. During the day 55 participants in addition to the project members, was able to take part in the event. The meals and refreshments were supplied by refugees under the Albatross umbrella. Special thanks to the professors Demosthenes Stamatis, Theodoros Kargidis and Vagis Samathrakis who invited prominent guests that gave the project a lot of new and realistic insights into the difficulties and challenges for refugees and immigrants that are trying to establish their own business in Greece, but also stories of success!

    Our hosts – immigrants and their helpers