In 2017, with the support of the European Commission, makesense launched the Migrant Entrepreneur project to train and equip entrepreneurs - from migrant backgrounds - in business creation and management methodologies. At the same time, through the Migrapreneurs project, Elan Interculturel aimed to support migrant entrepreneurs in the creation of their professional project by developing their soft skills.
The complementarity of these two projects naturally led to the creation of the COMBO program.
The COMBO program reaffirms equal opportunities
In 2019, makesense and Elan Interculturel embarked on a daring adventure: that of supporting migrants who want to become entrepreneurs.
What’s on the program?
To offer participants an innovative and inclusive pedagogy to affirm equal opportunities.
Thanks to COMBO, the barriers to entrepreneurship are lifted. Linguistic, cultural and personal barriers are erased in favor of the creation of links and building self-confidence. In this program, it’s a question of finding an individual path within a group. Each profile is highlighted, developed and promoted.
Three steps to achieving their project
For eleven months, refugee and migrant entrepreneurs are accompanied in the creation of their social, environmental or cultural impact projects. The program comprises three stages:
The first is the "immersion" stage. For two days, participants take part in creativity and collective intelligence workshops to imagine innovative solutions to social and environmental issues, to discover the first steps of an entrepreneurial approach and thought process. They also take part in introspective and intercultural activities to learn about themselves and to interact with others.
The second stage is exploration. For four months, each candidate defines his or her personal motivations and explores the field in order to consolidate the basis of the project.
Finally, the third stage is the incubation stage. Participants wishing to carry out their project have the opportunity to undergo seven months of personalized coaching. COMBO offers five places in intensive incubation. The other candidates can have recourse to semi-intensive courses.
In regards to whether each participant has the opportunity to complete their project, the answer is yes! In order to provide personalized assistance, makesense and Elan Interculturel are committed to offering a tailor-made incubation program... and this, despite the current health situation!
Indeed, since March 2020, the COMBO program has adapted to the new sanitary restrictions. The workshops could not be held face-to-face. However, training in videoconferencing tools has been provided to ensure a good follow-up with all participants.
Innovative and daring projects for 2021
Since January 2021, twelve projects have entered phase three of the program. For seven months, each entrepreneur will receive valuable support that will help them achieve their goals.
From cosmetics to culinary projects, from accommodation solutions to solidarity services, each project reveals a particular ingenuity.
If you are also curious and determined to carry out a mission-oriented project, don't miss out on the registration for the COMBO 2022 program.
Today, makesense provides social entrepreneurs with free access to resources on the SPOT platform. Going forward, the COMBO team wishes to create an alumni community in order to formalize a space for exchange and sharing. Thus, candidates from past promotions will be able to put their know-how at the disposal of newcomers and continue to benefit from the resources of makesense and Elan Interculturel to develop and boost their project!
If you wish to support the growth of COMBO, do not hesitate to contact Loan Cong, head of inclusion and migration at makesense: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information: https://combo.makesense.org/