London has long been known for its diverse culture, so it’s appropriate that a new business show is taking place there on the Wednesday July 27, designed to improve the network of London’s migrant community.
The Migrant Business Show is the brainchild of Brazilian property entrepreneur Rafael dos Santos who moved to London in 2002. Having left a good job with Microsoft, he moved to London with no contacts and worked his way up from working as a cleaner, a perfume demonstrator and then a landlord.
Rafael dos Santos said, “Recent research in Stratford, London showed that the three key issues that migrants face when starting or running a business is a lack of network, lack of knowledge and lack of funding. The show in two weeks’ time addresses the network problem as stands are affordable – starting at just £100 and tickets to attend the event are free of charge.”
The event takes place at mi-HUB, the first UK business hub dedicated to supporting migrant entrepreneurs to start and grow successful businesses. The venue, which has yet to be officially opened, will house 150 desks in a newly refurbished office in Batty Street, close to Aldgate East Station in Whitechapel, London. Over 1,500 visitors are expected to attend.
The property has been secured by Rafael dos Santos who aims to foster business growth, knowledge and integration through relationships with entrepreneurs, education and integration with international migrant communities. The plan is for mi-HUB to provide nurturing for small business owners, who as well as having an office at a value for money price, will have the opportunity to learn how to accelerate their business growth.
About Rafael dos Santos
Rafael dos Santos, born in 1981, is a Brazilian-British multi-award winning entrepreneur who has lived in London since 2002.
Rafael lived his early years in Santa Catarina, a state in the south of Brazil. The son of a fisherman and a housewife, his humble beginnings led to his parents’ move to Santos (a city in Sao Paulo state) so Rafael and his two sisters could receive a better education.
At the age of 21, in 2002 Rafael moved to London, after living for two years in Sao Paulo, one of the world’s largest cities.
He left his job as a support analyst at Microsoft, to learn English in London. Until 2003 Rafael worked as a kitchen porter, cleaner, glass collector and waiter to pay his expenses.
In 2003 an opportunity came along and he started managing houses. Between 2005 and 2014 he ran his own business – an agency that managed and let rooms in flat-shares. For eleven years Rafael rented accommodation to more than 2,000 young professionals and student migrants in London.
He grew the portfolio under his management from one to 50 homes, 15 members of staff and reached a turnover of £1.2m. In 2013 Rafael wrote a book – ‘Moving Abroad, One Step at a Time’ – published in English, Portuguese and Chinese and in Singapore and Malaysia.
In 2015 Rafael decided to support migrant entrepreneurs in their quest to start and grow their businesses. The first pilot project was the Migrant Business Accelerator – a 16-week programme where ten migrants were selected to attend workshops in marketing, finance and operations and 25 mentors donated their time to help the participants to launch their businesses. The programme evolved to become a co-working space named mi-HUB.
mi-HUB.com is London’s first co-working space to help migrant entrepreneurs have an office space as well as develop strategies to raise finance for their businesses. The office hub – which can house up to 150 entrepreneurs – is situated in Batty Street, close to Aldgate East tube station in Whitechapel, London.
Rafael is a guest lecturer at Regent’s University in London, where he teaches Entrepreneurship. He has won six business awards and has been the keynote speaker at several events around the world, including the World Entrepreneurship Forum in China in October 2015.
Most recently Rafael was featured in the Sunday Times as one of the ‘Top 100 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs in the UK’, an award organised by Maserati and the Centre for Entrepreneurs.
His recent TEDx talk about his life story has been very well received and can be seen here. Rafael’s vision is to help one million migrants become entrepreneurs over the next ten years.
With the recent launch of his Migrant Business Show and the news of the opening of mi-HUB co-working space for migrant entrepreneurs, he is getting there closer by the day.
Migrant Business Show: http://mi-events.com/
mi-HUB Website: http://www.mi-hub.com/
mi-HUB Twitter: https://twitter.com/mihublondon
mi-HUB Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mihublondon/?fref=ts
Rafael dos Santos website: http://www.rafaeldossantos.com/
Rafael dos Santos Twitter: https://twitter.com/ARafael_Santos
Event Brite ticket registration for free event: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/migrant-business-show-wwwmi-hu…
Rafael’s TEDx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwUnUiyh-8Q