We believe everyone in Europe should have equal opportunity to start a business. So, we wrote a book about how to make it happen
Over 1.2 million asylum seekers came to the European Union in 2015. This sudden influx of people caused political rifts, new fences being built, and put the European asylum system to a real test, as well as our values. Headlines in the media made it seem like this was the worst thing to happen to Europe since the World War 2. However, Europe was not the first area to experience something like this.
In 1950, the Levant region’s three countries, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel, had a combined population of 3 million people. Today, the population is over 24 million - a growth of more than 700 percent. The region is a scene of significant migration. Many migrants have become an essential part of the region, building new businesses and contributing to the local economy. Can Europe learn anything on fostering migrant entrepreneurship from the Levant?
In most Northern European countries people with a migrant background are more entrepreneurial than non-migrants. In the UK the global entrepreneurship monitor finds that 12.9% of migrants were early-stage entrepreneurs, compared to 8.2% among the UK-born population as a whole. In Sweden young people with a migrant backgrounds are twice as entrepreneurial as Swedes. This is translated into jobs. In Germany more than 1.3 million jobs are created by entrepreneurs with a migrant background, in Sweden the number is 300.000.
There is a Latin saying, often ascribed to Ovid: “Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis”. It means "Times are changed; we, too, are changed within them." To a certain extent, that is what this book is about. It tells the story of how nations, institutions and people do not exist in vacuums – their context, or “time,” is critical to shaping their outcome
We are telling a cautionary tale – not to deter but to encourage a Europe that should be learning from best practice, not just in one sector, but several, and in different countries like the Northern European countries and the Levant.
The book is published by Frekk Forlag