11 October 2019
InFiNe.lu members gathered last Friday to learn more about migrant entrepreneurship in Luxembourg and more specifically about the support provided by TouchPoints Asbl, and its collaboration with microlux. Fabienne Colling, cofounder and manager of TouchPoints Asbl, Samuel Paulus, senior manager microlux, and Ahmad Dablad, Syrian entrepreneur founder of “we-go” washing, a car cleaning services at home, talked about the experience of setting up a business as a migrant in Luxembourg.
Since 2016, TouchPoints Asbl has developed the project “sleeves up” that enables Luxembourg’s newcomers to transform their talents into a means of self-employment through training courses, and individualized mentoring. The project taps into Luxembourg’s myriad institutions, associations, and training programs to furnish them with the means to launch their own projects. The trainings prepare the participants for creating their own businesses. Ahmad Dablat received the support of TouchPoints to create his business.
The speakers pointed out the difficulties that newcomers face when they want to set up a business in Luxembourg. In addition of discovering a new business culture, a lot of papers are requested by the administration to get the business permit; and sometimes the new entrepreneur coming from abroad does not have such papers. For some business, a specific degree is requested or to prove a minimum number of years of experience in the sector.
After the business permit is received then appears the question of funding. Opening a bank account for migrants is not easy and it is even more complicated to get financial support from traditional banks. Therefore, a lot of migrants use their own savings or their network to get financial support. An alternative to banks is microlux, the first microfinance institution in Luxembourg.
The journey towards entrepreneurship is not an easy one for migrants and refugees in Luxembourg. But once established, the feeling of pride and accomplishment is present.