In the latest Smart Regions, we visit the Biskopsgarden district of the Gothenburg municipality, Sweden. Where the 'One Stop Future Shop’ is a programme that has been empowering people on the peripheries of the labour market, such as immigrants, to start up their own entrepreneurial projects.
Annie Hohlfält (head of innovation & business centre at the shop) sees refugees as vulnerable in a foreign market, "They are the ones with the weakest network, they have very little knowledge about the Swedish labour market and what kind of support they can get from the system."
"For an immigrant coming to Sweden, it takes 9 years to enter the job market. We need to help them" Samira Savarani – a centre advisor – told Euronews.
Euronews reporter Claudio Rosmino describes the unique nature of the project: “People arriving here are not seen as jobless but as potential entrepreneurs. Helping them is a social act that improves society.”
A multicultural approach is key to the project, which offers business advice in six languages (Arabic, English, Persian, Somali, Spanish and Swedish), with a focus on sustainability and social entrepreneurship
From 2016, this program, which is supported by the EU's Cohesion Policy has created around 140 new businesses.
The project has been such as a success that the institutions of Gothenburg have decided to extend their support for it beyond the 3 year period initially planned.