A new report by Loughborough University has recommended establishing a national programme to support aspiring entrepreneurial refugees.

Some 112 refugees have received business start-up training through a pilot jointly funded by the Home Office and The National Lottery Community Fund.

The one-year pilot funded four local business support organisations to deliver tailored start-up support to take refugees from the idea stage to the business launch.

Over the next 18 months, they will support a further 585 refugees into entrepreneurship.

The key recommendations from the report include:

  • The establishment of a national programme of targeted business support for aspiring refugee founders
  • Greater commitment from and coordination with banks to address the persistent barrier of inadequate funding and access to finance
  • Adopting a broader range of outcomes to measure and evaluate business support programmes for refugees – including education, work experience and access to finance
  • Greater collaboration between local businesses and business support programmes to improve engagement with the refugee community
  • The utilisation of refugee business owners as potential partners in addressing community issues

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