The Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees draws on the experience, knowledge and networks of UNCTAD, IOM and UNHCR in the fields of migration and entrepreneurship development. This inter-agency document offers practical guidance to policymakers and development partners. It was produced in response to the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, signed at the 71st UN General Assembly in September 2016, and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Its publication comes a few weeks before international leaders meet to sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakech, Morocco on 10 and 11 December.
This guide argues that entrepreneurship can be an effective way to include migrants and refugees in local economies and enhance their contributions to countries of origin by sharing their knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit, creating new market opportunities, leveraging cross-border networks and generating employment. Policies and programmes play an important role in supporting entrepreneurial activity by (and for) refugees and migrants and in addressing the barriers they face to engaging in economic activity.
The guide offers practical guidance to governments and development and humanitarian partners on how best migrant and refugees skills and abilities can be leveraged to build their livelihoods while contributing economically to societies they live in and those that they come from.
Policies can play an important role in supporting migrant entrepreneurial activity by primarily addressing barriers they face in engaging in economic activity as for instance permissions to set up, knowledge of and adherence to regulatory requirements, access to finance and opening banking accounts amongst others. Empirical evidence provided by this guide shows that in several countries solutions to these obstacles are being found. Governments, public institutions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector can effectively support entrepreneurial activity by (and for) refugees and migrants, with meaningful contributions to their well-being and with a positive social and economic impact in the societies they come from and live in.
Through this guide, the partnering organizations wish to acknowledge the role of migrants and refugees as an integral part of a globalized world and aim to enhance their contribution to, and benefit from, inclusive and sustainable development.