Refugees and other migrants who arrive in Europe manage to make a new life for themselves while also actively contributing to the economy of their host countries as they work to secure their own livelihoods. The first panel of the Growing Europe conference will set the stage for the conversations to follow by confirming the importance of migrant entrepreneurs in Europe. Our speakers will make the case for inclusive entrepreneurship policies and discuss some of the specific ways in which entrepreneurship by immigrants can be promoted and supported.
We will begin by hearing two distinct voices: a policymaker and a refugee entrepreneur. First, Monique Pariat, the European Commission’s Director General for Migration and Home Affairs will provide the public policy perspective on the importance of migrant entrepreneurs and how policies can support them. She will be followed by Zina Abboud, a Syrian refugee who is building a thriving catering business in the Netherlands, who will highlight through her own example the potential of refugees and the type of support that can help propel even more to succeed in their own businesses.
Following these brief speeches, we will have a moderated discussion exploring in more depth the policies, programs, and research that are needed to support immigrant entrepreneurs. The panellists will raise provocative questions about how we define the migrant entrepreneur and the services needed to meet the needs of distinct groups. Our expert panel is comprised of Daniela Bobeva from the Economic Research Institute of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, David Halabisky of the OECD where he leads research on inclusive entrepreneurship, and Ahmad Bayram, Syrian award-winning social entrepreneur and researcher. The panel will be moderated by Christina Kappaz of Youth Business International, one of the Growing Europe partners implementing entrepreneurship support for youth on the move.