Association seeks to support migrant and refugee ‘entrepreneurs’

With more than 420,000 migrants registered in Portugal and 1,600 refugees ‘dispersed throughout the country’ a new association is seeking to support and promote the winning ideas of ‘new arrivals’.

The latest “Fair of Migrant Entrepreneurship” is being held in Lisbon this weekend, with promotor Fidélio Guerreiro telling Jornal Económico, “information and legislation are not easily available”.

Thus his attempt to ‘represent’ the sector within a new body encompassing yet another set of initials: AEMIREP – standing for the business association of Portuguese migrants and refugees.

AEMIREP sets out to “agilise the documental process that either legalises or excludes those keen to live in invest in this country within a maximum period of three months”.

The great attraction of Portugal for migrants and refugees centres on the safety of this country, said Guerreiro, as well as the “extremely welcoming way” that foreigners are received by Portuguese people in general.

The weekend event at Museu de Lisboa has been financed by the capital’s Municipal Plan for Migrant Integration 2018-2020, and a number of other organisations, including the High Commission for Migrations.

Explained Guerreio, support up till now for entrepreneurial ideas, particularly ‘small projects’ has been “completely insufficient”.

He told JE: “It’s not enough to simply integrate and help people create projects. It is fundamental that business people are accompanied for a minimum period of three years to increase their companies’ (possibilities of) success” bearing in mind that risks in the early stages are “enormous”.

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