Celebrating the ME4Change Pitching Event in Milan

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It’s time for pitching!

ME4CHANGE PROJECT CAME TO MILAN FOR BOOSTING THE EVENT, DEDICATED TO MIGRAPRENEURS BUSINESS IDEAS

Migrants Empowerment for Change —  project’s aim is to create, improve and provide wider dissemination of support schemes for young migrant entrepreneurs to help them becoming self-employed and building a successful enterprise (profit- generating or with social objectives). The idea behind the project is to bring together organisations from different countries where migration is having a peak and to develop together innovative solutions for migrants’ inclusion, in particular for youth willing to start a business /boost the growth of their startups. The project’s goal is to create a vital eco-system where young migrants can exploit their opportunities, grow and build business skills to improve as entrepreneurs.

On March 11, according to the pitch celebration plan elaborated by WP3 Leader FGB, an event dedicated to migrapreneurs to pitch their business idea was planned in Italy, Milan. The aim of the event was for migrapreneurs” to show the lesson learnt from the training and mentoring programmes concluded in the previous months by presenting to the audience their business ideas. The event – according to the specific scheme of the project – represented also the opportunity for the Belgian partner to come to Italy and to offer to one Belgian startup the chance to meet the Italian peers and to present the business idea.

Under the coordination of the Lead Partner – X23, and specifically hosted by FabriQ, at via Val Trompia, 45, Milan – the event started at 14:10 pm — and finished by an amazing networking aperitif  at 19:30pm, where all the participants could even try the Pupusa product, which was one migrapreneur’s startup idea.

The event started with the Coordinator – Giuseppe Laquidara, CEO at X23 – welcoming the participants, the Associated Partners, the stakeholders and the migrapreneurs. Then the word took the representative of the Municipality of Milan Giuseppina Corvino, the representative of the , who gave an inspirational speech about the outgoing project and possibilities, which give us that kind of activities, provided by ME4CHANGE program. One after another the  supporting partners made a speech, Francesca Buonanno – manager of Fondazione Brodolini, who is personally familiar with all the cases of the project, welcomed all the attendants and wished good luck to the migrapreneurs. Alfredo Luis Somoza —   President ICEI, talked about the opportunities, life- changing style, which appear after implementing the project. He emphasized, how we can expand the new horizone not only for the migrants, but for the whole community.

Marika Mazzi Boém – Innovation Strategy Director at X23 – then introduced the project to the audience and the 22 months of implementation and the main results achieved so far.

Then the migrapreneurs took the floors for their presentations. That was an exclusive occasion for the young startuppers to test their grasp of the situation in front of the jury members who, basing on their experience and knowledge, analysed all the cases and gave their feedbacks and proposes for refine all the business ideas. That, for sure, will give us astonishing results for the final pitch.

This  interactional pitch gave the outstanding opportunity to the migrapreneurs to validate their training and the skills they improve but also to meet the partners and the stakeholders who supported the project during the past 22 months.

The protagonists of the event, therefore, were the migrapreneurs from Milan area – the majority of them female migrants:

  • Ana Gaby Chavez and Zaidy Inett Valdiviezo Sogbi — want to help Mexican students to come to Italy to study and gain competences in fashion, design and food sectors. Zaidy and Ana’s company will manage these travels: students need an all-inclusive-offer with factory-visits, training, tourism, housing and flight.
  • Kadiga Moharam and Ahmend Moharam —  the young couple, with the  business idea for importing foodstuffs produced and packaged by an Egyptian company with a family relationship.
  • Kelly Chidi-Ogbonna – the creator of Know My Talent, a digital platform for the matchmaking of talents and scouts in the sports, entertainment and performative arts sectors. This platform helps people to cooperate and in the meanwhile help producers and investors easily  find talented individuals.
  • Macoumba Tiam – wasn’t present at the event, but with a help of his mentor, Roberto Mannai the members had and opportunity to see Mobique’s video. Together with a team of project managers, created a moving-factory that can be moved directly in the plantation and dry the fresh mangos soon after the harvest. This treatment will make it possible to export dried mangos to European markets, especially in Italy, to furnish distributors and resellers.
  • Papa Dethie Faye – the concept was born after the author was a  victim of some episodes of racism The main idea is to produce a line of T-shirts with on the front the writing “Teranga” and a picture of a lion and on the back a triangle of wax textile that reproduces the typical Senegalese clothes. Teranga expresses one of the fundamental virtues of the Senegalese people: hospitality, attention, respect, kindness, joy and the pleasure of receiving a guest.   
  • Sabrina Delgado- her business’ idea is to develop a specific product: Pupusa, a typical food from El Salvador filled with meet, beans and other ingredients, which recently became very popular street food in USA. Sabrina wants to create a truck to bring this food around festivals in Italy.
  • Sonia Ore – however, the guests didn’t have the chance to meet Sonia in person, but we know well her business idea: to create a Money transfer. It  is a transfer of funds that does not take place through the classic banking system but through other subjects called transfer agents who must be authorised.
  • Vanessa Sesma e Irma Rodriguez Casas —  their company ItalMex,  is innovative for its product and selling procedures: they want to import high-quality food products from Mexico.  They already have received requests from patisseries for Mexican vanilla and guava marmalade.  
  • Nafissatou Tine — owns an online platform called Sunulex, that gathers different texts of Senegalese Right such as the constitution, penal code and others that are more international such as Right of New Technologies. Her purpose is to make it easier for senegalese to access important materials and to be more informed on how they can deal with a situation or another legally.

The Judges evaluated the participants by the following criteria:

  1. Business Description – details of the business and what it does.
  2. Market Analysis – characteristics of the market and description of customers.
  3. Product or Service Analysis – the specifics of the product or service.
  4. Competition – identify current and potential competitors.
  5. Management – an assessment of the entrepreneur and management team.
  6. The presentation itself – overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.

The event was a great success. Overall, the feedback the migraprenerus received was overwhelmingly positive, with a high percent of participants commenting favourably on the experience.

This meeting involved the local community in a new and unique business environment for migrants. Step by step we got closer to our final dissemination event in Italy once again, where all the partners will celebrate together with all the migrapreneurs, friends and supporters the amazing ME4Change journey and how the passion and the commitment of all the partners impacted to the life of migrapreneurs and of the local communities involved.

The startups gave us the capacity to understand, that ME4CHANGE affects totally different spheres of life. There was no project represented, which looked alike, all absolutely unique and innovative.

The pitch celebration event was organised  by X23, hosted in FabriQ and supported by the Italian partners –  Brodolini Foundation and ICEI —  International Economic Cooperation Institute It worth to be mentioned, that, of course, such an event wouldn’t happen without the  support by the Municipality of Milan.

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