Enter to Transform: A Training Programme for Refugee Entrepreneurs

Enter to Transform is an entrepreneurship training programme targeted at refugees who want to start their own businesses. The programme is designed to introduce participants to the Irish entrepreneurship ecosystem and advise them of the processes they will undertake in setting up their business. Over three phases, the programme will help participants gain the confidence and skills to develop a business idea within a supportive and encouraging environment.

This training programme is funded by Interreg North-West Europe and has been developed by Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow as part of a larger partnership that includes Academic and NGO organisations in France, Germany and The Netherlands. The project focuses on increasing the number of refugee-owned start-ups by addressing their entrepreneurial capacity, and also the ability of the business support agencies to aid these individuals on their journey. Eurostat (2017) indicated that many refugees in the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and France have an entrepreneurial background and want to continue to own businesses in their hosts’ countries, they just need to know where to start!

Enter to Transform offers a social innovation approach and addresses a key issue where refugees who have a desire to start their own business in their host countries are often disadvantaged as they are not familiar with the local entrepreneurship ecosystem or the business support agencies who can help them. Enter to Transform develops hubs that, through entrepreneurship training and mentoring, can open doors into the existing entrepreneurial support infrastructure in each region.

Through Enter to Transform, participants are prepared for entry into the existing ecosystem with confidence and understanding of what their journey will entail.

The training programme phases are as follows:

Phase 1 – Stand Up
During this 3-hour online workshop, participants will learn about some of the aspects of entrepreneurship in Ireland.
These include:
• Characteristics of an entrepreneur
• Exploring self-employment
• Developing business ideas
• Marketing
• Basic Legal Requirements
• Funding
Through this, participants can decide if joining the Irish entrepreneurship ecosystem sounds interesting to them and if they would like to progress to the next phase of the Enter to Transform training programme.

Phase 2 – Start-Up
During these two 3-hour online workshops, participants will be introduced to business planning, and also find out how to develop their business idea through ideation and business development techniques. Participants will create an idea template that will become their roadmap for the rest of the training programme. This will define a pathway that highlights the key milestones needed to achieve their goals. If participants want to continue to develop their ideas and learn about starting a business in Ireland, they can register for Phase 3. They will also have access to experienced entrepreneurship mentors and free access to a co-working space during this phase.

Phase 3 – Scale-Up
During these three 5-hour training sessions, participants will be presented with more detailed information about how to start a business in the Irish entrepreneurship ecosystem. This is done through focused workshops that cover all the topics needed to learn about starting a business. Participants will also receive one-to-one mentoring time with an experienced entrepreneur and have free access to a co-working space. When participants finish this phase, they will be advised on their next moves and the existing structures that will aid them.

For more information, visit www.enter2transform.com or email [email protected].

entrepreneurship training refugees


Sara Leahy

Sligo photographer specializing in family and wedding portraits




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