EDUCATIONAL PATH FOR OPERATORS
The European project M.I.C.R.O. focuses on the creation of a professional profile with competences on business start-up and on access to micro-credit for migrants.
The online course has been specifically designed to enhance the skills of the NGOs operators in order to acquire the following competences: to be aware and overcome cultural differences and religious aspects barring migrants from the entrepreneurial context, to identify the necessary financial concepts for entrepreneurship, to manage formal and alternative financing sources to start a business, to evaluate and strengthen the feasibility of a business idea as well as being able to inform migrants on the microcredit system and its auxiliary services.
The course is composed by 4 Modules:
The structure and the contents of the module have been successfully tested on 20 operators who expressed positive and encouraging feedbacks.
The course will be uploaded on an online platform making the resources open and freely available.
At the end of the course, the operators will be able to inform, guide and lead the migrant in each phase, supporting the migrant user facing the financial critical issues
Intercultural Communication The main objective of this module is to strengthen the intercultural competences of the learners by equipping them with basic knowledge on intercultural communication and raising awareness about cultural differences. Therefore the module will start with understanding the terms ‘culture’ and ‘communication’. We will have a look at different definitions and introduce some models about communication in general. On this basis, we will be able to define what ‘intercultural communication’ means, how we can learn intercultural communication and what are the “stumbling blocks” in intercultural communication. The next part of the module will focus on cultural awareness and cultural differences. First, we would like to motivate the learners to reflect on their own cultural background before we look at other cultures in a second step. Since communication is not only about words, we can learn a lot about cultural differences from the perception of gestures and facial expressions in different cultures. To sum up this introduction to intercultural communication we will reflect on the difference between stereotypes and prejudices, in which contexts we use them and how we can deal with them. Since many migrants in Europe come from countries with an Islamic background and therefore might have a different worldview from Europeans, we will then focus on Islamic culture. Then we will examine a case of intercultural communication where a different worldview is sometimes at odds with the one many of us live by: Islamic culture. We will start showing how different “basic rules” , that is, Islamic law, lead to a different interpretation of society and behavioral recommendations that in some instances can clash with our owns. Examples of how this can affect matters of work and business will also be presented. After this, a specific part of Islamic law relevant not only for intercultural communication but also for microfinance will be examined in some detail: Islamic finance. Trainees will be presented with a general overview of how culture and business are intertwined taking the example of thein that sharia, which permits only a share of financial transactions allowed in Western countries, on an ethical and religious ground. Therefore learning to communicate between these two worlds means learning to operate in otherwise mutually closed markets. At last, few words on how to draw migrants nearer institutions practicing Islamic finance in Europe will complete this module. Trainees will learn how to fashion support for access to finance in a way palatable to migrants coming from an Islamic background, so that a large part of business-looking migrants may rely on small amounts of funds without being forced to choose between their culture and their work.
The objective of this module is to train professionals working with migrants about the main entrepreneurship concepts, models and tools in order to advise them on how to start a business.
This module is composed by eight lessons that cover the main entrepreneurial competences that migrant entrepreneurs should develop to start a business as well as how to turn a busines idea into reality providing tools and practical models. Specifically, this module will have the following lessons: entrepreneurial competences, value proposition, ideas generation, business model, marketing plan, legality, feasibility and Lego Serious Play.
The last lesson will give an overview on the Lego serious play methodology, which is an innovative process designed to boost business performance. The main idea is that everyone can contribute to the discussion, the decisions process and the result; in fact this method is a facilitated meeting, communication and problem-solving process in which participants face questions, probing deeper and deeper into the subject. In conclusion, apart from acquiring knowledge about how to start a business, this module will show professionals working with migrants how to connect the main entrepreneurial competences to the specific business plan phases.
Module 3 will consist of 3 lessons. The first lesson will give an insight into the domestic and family economy and how to manage it through the use of the family budget template.
This will allow the entrepreneur to separate the accounts of his household and of his business. In the second lesson, you will see the main products for financial services for entrepreneurs and their main characteristics. Lesson 3 will work on over-indebtedness and how to manage and avoid it.
Access to Financing:
In this module, we will teach the main tools and resources to access financing for entrepreneurs. We will explain the characteristics of each one and how to get access to it. The module consists of 3 lessons. The first lesson will talk about bank financing and other forms of private financing, such as venture capital and business angels. The second lesson will talk about crowdfunding as an alternative funding. This lesson will show you the steps to take and the key items in order to achieve success in launching a crowdfunding campaign for entrepreneurs. The third lesson will be about microcredit as a financing tool. The Micro-credit lesson will give a general overview on the microcredit system and technical tools to support the migrants entrepreneurs in their business building process and management. It will focus on how to access to loans, how to use tools and practices as monitoring, counseling, training, coaching and post-credit monitoring. Those services, provided either formally or informally, may greatly increase the efficacy of any business. Microcredit operators, through their support services, can make available to entrepreneurs instruments and skills to support them during the start-up phase of their companies. The Micro-credit lesson will give a general overview on the microcredit system and technical tools to support the migrant entrepreneurs in their business building process and management. It will focus on how to access to loans, how to use tools and practices as monitoring, counselling, training, coaching and post-credit monitoring. Those services, provided either formally or informally, may greatly increase the efficacy of any business. Microcredit operators, through their support services, can make available to entrepreneurs instruments and skills to support them during the start-up phase of their companies.