The New Game Changer of Entrepreneurship

Greece Migrants Winter Crossing Photo Gallery

Entrepreneurship and technology. Entrepreneurship and creativity. Entrepreneurship and web. Entrepreneurship and youth. How many times we have listen to these dichotomies. They are trendy, cool and innovative.

We have widely been exposed to another hot topic: migration. This phenomenon has been affecting Europe countries under several perspectives.

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Migration and entrepreneurship looks definitively provocative and challenging. This is the future vision of UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). The future economic trends from UNCTAD have a significant influence on government policies and industrial strategies. One of the last “bet” was about the creative economy in 2008. Now the industry is growing worldwide at an average rate of 14% and some countries specialized in this specific industry such as Nigeria and Malaysia managing to be an important source of employment and national exports.

The main argument of migrants and entrepreneurship is about the propensity of migrants to have an entrepreneurial mindset. They take high risks with limited resources to obtain a return not measureable just on financial terms. In addition, they are comfortable in changes and adapting in based on the situation.

Under this perspective, migration should be an opportunity instead of a threat, but there are several political interests to look at the dark side of the moon. Aside from them, there are cultural and technical concerns. Nayef Stetieth (UNCTAD official) presented the situation in Jordan. It is the country where the highest number of Syrian migrated after the start of the civil war. In terms of competences and technical knowledge, Syrians have the conditions to integrate in the entrepreneurship context of Jordan, but the cultural barriers are significant limitations of collaboration. Laura Thompson, Deputy Director General of IOM (International Organization for Migration), presents the opposite situation in Germany, where the competences of Syrians do not fit the methodology and the technology applied and required in Germany while the government policies for cultural integration are quite efficient.

Moreover, the capital that migrants move is huge. For some countries the remittances, the money that migrants sent to their families in the original country, represents a large portion of GDP. David Svab, Programme Officer UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Kosovo, shows that 20% of Kosovo GDP is represented by remittances.

To facilitate entrepreneurship integration and efficient distribution of capital, technology is needed. The business opportunities to do so are significant. The main services that are needed are about information sharing and capital transfer. Positive effects of incentivizing migrants to start a business are not just strictly economical, but even social and cultural.

It is not gold all that shines. Integration is a two players game where both the entrant and the incumbent should be open to cooperate, collaborate, coordinate and most importantly live together.

Migrant is not just a formal status, but a mental predisposition.