Business accelerator helps migrants to start their own businesses with funding and mentoring.
London is one of the world’s most diverse cities and this also reflects the business landscape where 14% of 5.1 million small businesses are owned by migrants as well as 30% of the tech startups in the capital, reports The Centre for Entrepreneurs.
One migrant that is shaking things up in the small business world with his new business venture is Rafael dos Santos, a Brazilian entrepreneur living in London for 14 years. Rafael says ‘Migrants have great skills that are being under-utilised and we want to help them to make the best use of these skills and turn them into entrepreneurs’. The reason why the Migrant Business Accelerator was created was to help migrants to improve their lives by starting a business and we will provide £4000 to kick start their idea as well as mentoring during 16 weeks, where workshops in finance, marketing, operations, HR and business skills such as pitching and negotiation will be taught by successful migrant entrepreneurs.
Kingston Smith, one of UK’s top 20 accountancy firms will be hosting the accelerator at their office in the City. ‘We support the accelerator because we believe it’s great for the economy. These small businesses of today are the large big of tomorrow and the more guidance and help they have now the more chances they have to succeed’, says Darren Jordan a partner of the firm.
During their launch event at Google Campus in Old Street, over 100 people turned up to watch some of the tutors speak, including Natasha Maw, a leadership trainer from the BBC and Darshana Ubl, an Indian entrepreneur who broke the Guinness World Record of ‘biggest speed networking event in the world’ in 2014.
‘Migrants have great qualities. They have moved countries and now are starting a business which shows amazing resilience. Business owners are also leaders and I want to help them to flourish in their leadership roles’, comments Natasha.
This Foreigner Can is a social enterprise dedicated to help migrants become entrepreneurs and they run the Migrant Business Accelerator which is a 16- week programme that will run from August to December 2015. Migrants will go through a application process and the best 10 ideas will be selected to take part in the programme to receive £4000 in funding, mentoring from 20 successful entrepreneurs and attend 3h workshops in the evenings to learn how to start and manage their own businesses.
Applications are now open via their website www.thisforeignercan.com
This Foreigner Can is a social enterprise that seeks to become the voice of successful migrant entrepreneurs in the UK and to showcase the benefits that migrant entrepreneurs bring to the UK economy, society and wider community well being.
The CEO is Rafael Dos Santos. Rafael is an award winning Brazilian entrepreneur and author of the book ‘Moving Abroad, one step at a time’. Rafael has been living in London since 2000. He started in London as a kitchen porter and glass collector in bars in Soho. He started his first property business in 2003 at the age of 22, in London. By the age of 28 he had bought 2 properties plus his family home. His business reached £1.2m turnover in 2011 and he successfully sold it in 2014. Rafael has now launched a social relocation platform that helps foreigners move to London and settle down called Room in the Moon which has won 4 awards in its 18 months of existence. Rafael also successfully ran the International Conference for Startups in 2014 for 300 attendees with speakers from the world’s most successful companies.