It’s been a week since the Final Pitching Event took place at WeWork, and we’d like to take some time to look back and reflect on the event and the influence ME4Change had on al of us. We’d also like to thank everyone who was involved in one way or another.
On March 7th, more than 80 people signed in to watch, listen, network and get inspired by the work of six migrant entrepreneurs who pitched their innovations and start-ups to a jury. At Migration Hub Network we believe everyone, especially migrants from all backgrounds, should have an equal opportunity to learn and develop their innovations. The ME4Change program helped migrapreneurs do exactly that. The program took place over the past eight months in Milan, Brussels, Helsinki, and Berlin. It helped them concretely developing their enterprise’s by understanding the host market, the bureaucracies, the financial issues, and by sharing similar experiences to support them in their business challenges.
Our night started off with a fireside chat on the Migrapreneurship Effect. Our CEO, Ana Álvarez, along with Matt Stewart, Yasmin Alabed and Leo Legorreta.
Matt is a strategic design consultant and founder and creative director at MetaDada Experimental Arts Festival, Berlin Founder, Yarra Pools and Melbourne. Through his research, Matt highlighted how many migrant entrepreneurs are in Germany along with the major reasons and challenges of becoming an entrepreneur.
Yasmin is a Product Manager. She has experience building products for larger international companies such as Sony Music to smaller startups. During the panel, Yasmin advocated for female entrepreneurs, especially those who come from a migrant background.
Leo on the other hand, turned a Späti into a bar (La Cantina Mexicana), into a Latin American community. He shared his own experience of becoming a migraprenuer and how he created a growing network using the space as an excuse to bring talents to come together and find a home.
From these three inspiring panelists we learned:
- 50% of migrant entrepreneurs not speaking German at home are considered necessity entrepreneurs.
- Building a local professional social network takes time, but migrant entrepreneurs will often respond to unmet needs within their own community.
- Migrant ventures generally hire more staff than non-migrant enterprises
After the Fireside Chat, we went on to listen and watch the pitching competition.
So first and foremost, we would like to thank the five fantastic pitching teams for participating in the event and sharing with us their amazing innovations. Thank you, Kelly Chidi-Ogbonna, who flew all the way from Milan to participate and share KnowMyTalent, the first social media platform for talents and scouts; Kussay Chi Chakly from with Kussay Urban‘s energetic, and edgy clothing. Ramy Alsaleh and Waleed Alshallal with Routerade, with a mission to reconstruct and revitalize destroyed cities. Munzer Khattab with Bureaucrazy, simplifing the German bureaucratic system and to guide refugees, migrants, and all people who have trouble dealing with the German bureaucracy step by step.
Thank you Angélica Moreno & Carolina Bejarano, who came in second place with Warawa accessories in support of Colombia’s indigenous women. The team will be flying out to Helsinki with MHN to participate in the pitching contest taking place over there and to meet with influencers in the fashion industry who will help them further develop Warawa.
And of course, the winners of the pitching event Edward and Hee-Joo Bae with ZoomFresh, offering a unique cultural food experience by delivering easy to cook authentic Asian meals. As the winners, Migration Hub will follow up to help match them with investors.
We believe in long term solutions and in supporting our migraprenuers. Their hard work and effort in making their ideas come to life has had a positive impact on all of us at Migration Hub Network. Although your time with the ME4Change program is coming to an end, MHN will always be supporting you in your future endeavours!
We would also like to thank and show our deepest appreciation to the jury. The three amazing people who took time out of their day to come support and advise our migreprenuers. Thank you, Agnes Köhler, innovation manager and advisor at KPMG, David Labi, founder of Good Point and one of our ME4Change mentors, and last but not least, Mohamad Yimale founder of Ari-farm.
In addition to the migrapreneurs and jury memebers, we would also like to thank those who joined us for elevator pitches. By presenting their ideas, they shed light on the migraprenuer environment and all the struggles that come along with it. Thank you, Parvin Shafaq with Choogh, Amelia Strzepek with Workout for Happiness, Manuel Sánchez with Tendbe, and Alonso Álvarez with Ordering.
Check out Migration Hub Network Facebook Page for more pictures!
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