Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs Europe

We are Women Migrentrepreneurs. Finding our place, making our mark.

The “M” Word

When I was just starting this blog, some people told me that I should reconsider calling it “Migrentrepreneur,” which is a contraction of Migrant and Entrepreneur. Their opinion was that many would not want to be “labeled”as “migrant.” It seemed it’s become like a scarlet letter…

While we kept the name, Deidré and I have tried not to alienate those women who are not so keen on being called Migrant Entrepreneurs. We focused on sending our message out to entrepreneurial global and international women, as we flesh out this concern and decide on what to do. For Deidre, the term also encompasses being on the move and of different worlds.

At the 8th European Integration Forum in Brussels last October 16-17, where entrepreneurs of immigrant background came together to discuss the contribution of immigrants to the EU economy, the same concern surfaced. A successful entrepreneur asked why we had to talk about “migrant entrepreneurship” when we should only have to focus on entrepreneurship in general.

I agree that categories do create divisions. The less there are, the better.

However, in doing so in this case, what we will be missing is the opportunity to change the negative connotation of the term, “migrant” or of the concept of immigration that has often gotten negative press. For some, it is likened to a stigma. But why should it be? We will also miss out on the chance to deal with both difficulties and opportunities that are distinct to migrant entrepreneurs. In reality, there are particular difficulties, like language, lack of networks, among others. If we do away with the term now, then it will be difficult to highlight these difficulties and obtain the enabling conditions that are needed in order to get the same opportunities for those who need it.

Keeping quiet about it doesn’t make it go away, and that is why we would like to have an open, constantly reflexive discussion about it. In saying that we are Migrant Entrepreneurs, we are celebrating and calling attention to the positive contribution that immigration is making to the community. In saying we are Migrentrepreneurs, we are being positive role models to others that they too can create their opportunity and choose the life they want.


Filed under: MW News

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