Allia helps migrant entrepreneurs bring opportunity to Peterborough

One in seven companies in the UK are set up by migrants, and almost one fifth of migrants are planning to start a business here. A migrant can be defined any person who lives temporarily or permanently in a country where he or she was not born, and has acquired some significant social ties to this country. Although they bring culturally unique and complimentary skills, knowledge and ideas to the workplace, migrants often face challenges such as language and cultural barriers, and difficulties accessing finance.  

Last month, Allia held a workshop in Peterborough at its Future Business Centre which was specifically for migrant entrepreneurs. The workshop entitled ‘How to successfully raise finance and start to grow your business’ was run by the Allia Serious Impact programme to help migrant entrepreneurs start a business and contribute towards job creation and in Peterborough and beyond. 80% of participants on the workshop were of a nationality outside of the UK including Japan, Poland, Zimbabwe, India and Italy.

The workshop focused on aspects of finance such as funding and equity, also concentrating on what investors look for, and how to grow as a start-up. New migrants can also experience social exclusion and isolation when starting up a business; the workshop aimed to relieve some of these stresses by bringing together a like-minded group who face similar challenges.

Attendee Bartlomiej Wydmuch said: “It was the best training I’ve attended – a lot of practical knowledge and a hint of how to take care of your business’s finances. It was a great friendly atmosphere and I met a lot of interesting people. I was surprised that you can learn so much in such a short time, all in one place.”

Barclays manager Wasim Hanif led some of the workshop, and focused on advice around how to get funding, and investors. He said: “It is great to see that Allia are supporting migrant entrepreneurs in setting up and growing their business ideas”.

The entrepreneurial activity of migrants is near double that of UK-born individuals. Migrant businesses generate many jobs and opportunities for local people, and Allia wants to help them thrive. Some examples of businesses of the entrepreneurs who attended the workshop include an ethically sourced jewellery company, a forensic science service, and an organic cosmetics business.

Anna Urbanska, Business Support Associate at Allia says: “It was the first time we organised a workshop for migrant entrepreneurs in Peterborough, and we hope it helped them to fill any gaps in their knowledge. The entrepreneurs were innovative, open and energetic and it was great to see how keen they were to make a positive impact on local industries.”

Serious Impact will be running another workshop for migrants in Peterborough on 14th November entitled ‘Sales, Marketing and Effective Communication’ at the Future Business Centre. Click here to find out more