Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs Europe

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

Who we are

Hi! We are Nola & Deidré.

(Read more about us below.)

Hi! My name is Nola. Like you, I am an immigrant woman. I came here at the end of 2008 to study. I didn’t plan on staying but then I met someone. That someone became my husband and now, I’m migrant.

In the beginning, I had some difficulties in finding my professional place and continuing my career. It was both an unfortunate and fortunate time in my life. Unfortunate because I started to lose my self-esteem and began doubting my capabilities. The ambitious, confident and fun woman that I am, was suddenly nowhere to be seen. Remembering what my mom used to always say to me, “if it’s to be, it’s up to me,” I decided to create my own opportunity.  So, it was also a fortunate time as it gave me the chance to pursue my dreams of entrepreneurship.

So now, I am an entrepreneur in the making.

Professionally, I have always wanted to do something that does not only earn my keep but is also a passion and makes a difference in lives of other people.  I also have always had this thing for culture being a resource for development.  And so for six years, I worked with cultural communities in my country to turn their tradition of crafts into sustainable enterprises. Interestingly, social entrepreneurship and culture continue to crop up in my ventures: The TextÎles Co. and 7100 Islands.

I created this blog in 2011 as a way to reach out to fellow immigrant women here in Europe who are also building their careers from scratch and are turning into entrepreneurship. I hope that it becomes a hub of interaction and exchange for all of us who are facing the same challenges and are doing are best to create our own opportunities in our new homes.

I believe that by drawing from our strengths, reaching out to fellow immigrant women, becoming informed and finally taking action, we CAN CREATE our OWN OPPORTUNITIES and SUCCEED!

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I am Deidre (pronounced “Daydri”) Denise Matthee, a migrentrepreneur woman who moved from South Africa to Portugal to bridge a (then) long-distance love.  I have never quite fit into categories easily (qualified as a psychologist but always traversing social disciplines; a woman of colour likely to tick the box “other” on official forms; inclined to use a slash or a dash in any description of what I do, and now, even where I live).  Finding myself professionally in Portugal was no exception (when I approached a support centre for immigrants while looking for work, I was told that I did not have the “usual profile”).  It was, however, more disconcerting, as it basically meant that I was suddenly in a position I felt immensely disempowering. For some time this implied doing whatever I could (teaching English, proofreading) to earn money, or doing whatever I liked (creative projects, activism, workshop facilitation, narrative research) voluntarily.    Eventually (recently, in fact) I came to the (risky/ bold) decision to create work for myself that would not be one or the other, but that could truly sustain me.  This coincided with fortuitously meeting Nola (so far, only virtually! – we finally met in person in October 2012*): not only did she turn out to be a kindred spirit and fellow traveller, but she also invited me to take part in developing Migrentrepreneur Women Network. And so I embarked on this new journey of  ‘elsewhere-entrepreneurship’: I am looking forward to sharing this experience and to learning with you here!

*More about me: Picara and Intimate Migrations

Welcome to the Migrentrepreneur Women Network Blog! –  Deidré & Nola

PS To learn more about Migrentrepreneur Women NetworkTM Blog, click here.

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