IntEnt - A migrant entrepreneurship program, Netherlands, 2004

    The past decade has seen more attention paid to the participation and integration of migrants in Europe where a growing number are seeking gainful employment in small enterprises. Entrepreneurial initiatives are found all over Europe and these initiatives are widely acknowledged to be steppingstones to the integration of migrants in host countries.

    Migrants in Europe often set up small businesses in their countries of origin as a way to contribute to their development or to exploit investment opportunities. The migrants observe opportunities in the host country and when their initiatives are stimulated and facilitated, these migrant entrepreneurs can transfer new ideas, ways of working, and technology all of which help to develop the private sector in their home countries. In addition, new markets in both societies become linked. Migrant entrepreneurs understand the socio-cultural contexts of both these societies and can help further economic and innovative initiatives that may lead to sustainable development.

    The IntEnt Programme helps migrant entrepreneurs who want to start a commercially feasible business in their home countries. In return for technical assistance and business support, they must contribute considerable effort, motivation, and capital and at different stages of the process the client is expected to pay for the services of IntEnt. IntEnt is a comprehensive programme in the sense that it provides assistance from orientation through the start-up and during the first months of operation of the business.

    IntEnt aims to create commercially feasible, sustainable enterprises. The programme is demand-led with only some start-up services subsidized. IntEnt has a comprehensive approach, in which only selection and training components are provided directly. All others are facilitated.