Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs Europe

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

Mind map your way to business!

Revisiting my old bookshelf, I got reconnected with the book on Mind Mapping of Tony Buzan. I remember using the tool to make notes and review for exams and now for business concept development, brainstorming and marketing planning.

Mind Mapping is a visual representation of concepts, information and associations that makes use of key words, lines, colors and drawings. It can be as simple or as complex as the mapper pleases.

If you find writing text heavy business plans a chore, why not try this? (Unfortunately, you cannot present this to a bank to apply for a loan!) But it will be easier to refer back to as you go through the day to day of business. ¬†So a combination of both is best! ūüėÄ

mindmapbusiness

Via Using Mind Maps

Here are some links to know more:

Mind Mapping and Bootstrapping 

Mind Map Tutor shows the step by step to your business mind map.

Explore resources on Mind Mapping for Business here.

Filed under: B in Business, Ideas, ,

Words of the Week

“I came to understand that I can never forget where I came from.¬† My soul should always look back and wonder at the mountains I had climbed and the rivers I had forged and the challenges which still await down the road.¬† I am strengthened by that knowledge.” ~ Maya Angelou, Letter to my Daughter

(this week I’ve been confronted with change – the difficulty both of accepting it and creating it: there are the hardened, worn-out routes, as well as the cartographer’s curiosity… sometimes it scares me to look, but there is hope in the creases and folds of the map, in the knowledge that I’ve been t/here ~ d*)

Filed under: Inspiration, , , ,

Perspective: looking forward; looking back

perspective

December is here, and for many of us that means the last little bit(e) of the year.¬† I feel like I’ve been running a marathon, and¬† seriously need to pause and re-group (never been quite sure of that word, but it seems fitting for when one’s all over the place)!¬† And so, as it is Monday, and winter is encouraging us to be inside, shall we take a moment to reflect?*

  • If you think back on the past year, what are the events that stand out for you?
  • What do you look forward to for the new year?
  • What changes would you like to see‚Ķand do you have any ideas on how to make them happen?

*Relax, rejoice, recharge… more re this to come! ~ d*

Filed under: Ideas, , ,

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 ‚Äúlabeled‚ÄĚas “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‚ÄĚ 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

Words of the Week

It’s not easy to start one’s own business. And we need to be aware of this.¬† If you’re not strong (and even if you are) it can break you.¬† But the harder they make it for me, the more I will persist.¬† I will not give up!

~ my friend Theresa, in the process of setting up her own cafe {words I sure needed to hear this week ~ d*}

Filed under: Crossing Borders, Inspiration, ,

Breaking news: Reporting on the European Integration Forum (2012)

Nola and I had the privilege of attending the 8th European Integration Forum in October this year, and I am happy to announce that the report on this interesting and informative event is now available here – and well worth reading, given the light it sheds on (so-called) migrant entrepreneurship (a concept that was in itself fervently debated).

Taken at dawn on the way to the first day of the Forum!

I would like to highlight the major issues that emerged during the roundtable discussion migrant entrepreneurship in which Nola and I participated:
access is key, not only to financial resources, but also to networks and social capital;
– it is essential to increase the visibility of migrant entrepreneurs through public celebration of their achievements, and especially via traditional and (increasingly also) social media;
– support services from local authorities should focus on streamlining bureaucratic procedures, and ensuring that information and advice regarding these processes are readily available;
– building relationships of trust is vital; and
Рfurther emphasized  was  the importance of having the right mentors to provide support and guidance, as well as to introduce would-be migrant entrepreneurs to relevant contacts and connections.

* Also note the conclusions reached across the various roundtables (which centered on matching labour needs, overcoming obstacles to integration and entrepreneurship) – to be found on page 6 of the report.)

As always, your thoughts and comments are invited! ~ d*

Filed under: Creating Opportunities, Crossing Borders, MW News, ,

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