In the Netherlands, STAR/T: Startup Accelerator for Refugees in Twente has created an inclusive, supportive community for people who have migrated to the area and want to start their own business.
“Making dreams come true” is the slogan of a project in Twente, eastern Netherlands – and it has already helped dozens of entrepreneurial people to do just that!
The project is called STAR/T: “Startup Accelerator for Refugees in Twente”, and over the last two years it has created an inclusive, supportive community for people who have migrated to the area and want to start their own business.
At its core, STAR/T runs an incubator programme, supported by local businesses, local municipalities and the university, to help people with a passion to develop their ideas and enthusiasm into a thriving business.
Thanks to funding from the ESF, STAR/T has been able to create an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” for refugees who want to become self-employed, with the space to experiment and innovate. The project provides practical support and guidance in “lean startup” techniques, helping participants to create a successful business plan, developing a product or service, and finding the necessary finances for a new business.
Most importantly, however, the project has created a self-perpetuating peer support network, encouraging participants to stay motivated, and developing more sustainable businesses. Previous STAR/T members become inspirational mentors for new starters, the creativity continues, and more dreams come true.
Jaap Fris, project manager, says, “STAR/T is a success because it is more than just business, it brings people together, makes dreams a reality and is the start of a new life.”
|Project name||STAR/T: Startup Accelerator for Refugees in Twente|
|Duration||2017 - 2018|
|ESF contribution||€ 75,300.00|
|Total budget||€ 150,600.00|
|Organisation||Municipality of Enschede|
|Contact details|| Jaap Fris|
+31(0)623 53 76 16
|Related links|| 1.1.1. Opening pathways for work|
1.1.3. Boosting business
1.2.3. Training that works
1.3.2. Promoting social enterprise
1.4.1. More effective institutions