Lack of Network is the Leading Problem for Migrant Entrepreneurs

Lack of Network is the Leading Problem for Migrant Entrepreneurs
Yareah Magazine
Global Woman Editor in Chief Mirela Sula

Global Woman Editor in Chief Mirela Sula

A new report by the Institute of Directors and Brazilian-born entrepreneur Rafael dos Santos has revealed the challenges faced by migrant entrepreneurs and the extraordinary benefit they bring to the UK’s economy.

Albanian-born entrepreneur, successful event organiser and Global Woman Editor in Chief Mirela Sula features as a key figure in the Migrant Entrepreneurship Report.

Mirela Sula was born in a small village in the northern part of Albania, she later moved to the UK to study counselling and psychology at Sheffield Univeristy.

Mirela returned to her home country and became one of the first women in Albania to open a publishing company. After a significant offer for her business, she moved to London to work on a PhD at Regent’s University London.

Since then Mirela has organised the Migrant of the Year Awards and the Global Woman Summit. The events empower both migrants and women to achieve their goals and become financially independent. As well as working as a magazine editor, Mirela has authored a number of books and works as a trainer at Solace Women’s Aid, a charity working with those affected by domestic and sexual violence.

She was selected as one of 10 ‘Women Entrepreneur Leaders’ for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day by the International Council for Small Business and received an ‘Inspiration Award for Women’ in 2015.

At the report launch Mirela said, “Many migrant entrepreneurs go to group networking events all the time to get contacts, however we are always very busy with other commitments especially when trying to start a business. It is difficult to keep track of people you meet.

“What I have learned is that entrepreneurs need help in meeting the right people to build their networks, we should be helping business people grow in their local environment.”

Author of the Migrant Entrepreneurship Report Rafael dos Santos said, “The report identifies a lack of local knowledge as the largest problem area for migrant entrepreneurs. Over 40 percent of entrepreneurs asked said that their biggest challenge is building a network and finding suitable contacts.

“Migrant entrepreneurs have created 1.16 million jobs in the UK, we have brought far more to the country than people expect and it is still difficult for entrepreneurs to grow their networks and find new contacts. There are almost half a million migrant entrepreneurs in the UK and it would be crazy not to help them to create new jobs and expand the economy.”

The report is launched to coincide with the opening of London’s first co-working space dedicated to supporting migrant entrepreneurs. Located in Aldgate East, Whitechapel, the hub provides affordable serviced office space to help people grow and nurture their businesses.

mi-HUB’s competitively priced serviced office also offers training through the Migrant Business Accelerator programme. The six-month course led by Rafael dos Santos focuses on helping participants to structure their business to access finance, one of the biggest barriers for migrant entrepreneurs.

The full report is available to view and download from the mi-HUB website and IOD website.

Institute of Directors:
Rafael dos Santos:
Migrant Entrepreneurship Report:
Migrant Entrepreneurship Report by the Institute of Directors:…

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