Natasha Webster and Karen Haandrikman, researchers from Stockholm University, presented their research about the challenges that women migrant entrepreneurs face when starting their business in Sweden. We then listened to the personal stories of migrant entrepreneurs Virginie Garcia, and Wendy Heijne, exemplifying the research on its topics and emphasizing the need of being persistent and having a certain drive towards one’s goals. Being a bit “unswedish”.
The second panel with policy experts Sam Yildirim, Elisabeth Suzuki, Petya Thorne and Edgar Haverkamp went more into finding answers and opportunities, and the audience of around 45 people was engaged and eager to discuss with the panel. The evening as a whole was moderated by Ruben Brunsveld who asked thought-provoking questions and engaged the audience in a great way.
Following the panel and the discussions, it seems Sweden as a country has some particular obstacles to overcome for migrant entrepreneurs. One of the discussions focused on the example of the mastery of Swedish language as being critical in order to be successful as a migrant entrepreneur in Sweden.
We look forward to continue the discussions and follow the development in this important field.
We thank the Embassy of the Netherlands, Stockholm University, the involved entrepreneurs and policy experts for making this event come true and all guests for coming and for engaging in the discussions!
/Els Berkers and Joep van Ool
A seminar report with more thorough information about this topic can be found at the website of the Dutch embassy. Read here.