Migration to Europe has a long history, but it has increased substantially in the late 20th century. About one third of migration occurs within EU, but a significant share flows from outside the EU. The four Kaleidoscope partner countries have different trends in migration when considering their history of migration, reasons for migration and the range of countries of origin. The UK, Italy and France have been major receiving countries for decades with hundreds of thousands of incoming migrants every year, comparatively, Finland’s history is very modest and its volume relatively small.
Entrepreneurial activity is similar in all Kaleidoscope partner countries: on average migrant entrepreneurs are behind 10–14% of all companies in the UK, France, Italy and Finland. Migrant women’s entrepreneurial activity is generally lower than men’s. Italy is the only country where migrant women are slightly more active than men. The survey results gave an extremely positive picture of the entrepreneurial ambitions among migrant women, as over half of the respondents in Finland, Italy and the UK stated that entrepreneurship would be an option they would consider. However, there are numerous obstacles and barriers hindering migrant women achieve their ambitions. Challenges are similar in nature to those that all entrepreneurs face, but these are amplified among the migrant population. According to survey data, the obstacles were most often related to challenges in access to funding, and lack of resources and networks. It is evident in literature that discrimination and the double discrimination women entrepreneurs face emphasised the challenges in obtaining funding.
Competences, skills and attitudes that migrant women need in order to start their businesses were similar in all four partner countries. The most common are host-country language proficiency, cultural understanding and access to networks. These skills, attitudes and competences needed by a migrant woman are listed in IO1 report and will be used in later phases of the project and externally.