The MigraVenture programme offers training, coaching, and investment to African immigrants living in Italy who create or expand a business in their country of origin. The programme was launched by the International Organization for Migration in Italy (IOM) and the ETIMOS Foundation, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Italian Cooperation.
The MigraVenture programme was launched as a pilot in 2016 with the objective to “create a paradigm shift from supporting immigrant businesses to doing business together". The programme encourages entrepreneurship by immigrants, especially women. It also seeks to enhance the contribution of diaspora entrepreneurs to international development cooperation (through job creation and other positive impact in entrepreneurs’ countries of origin) and foster business linkages between African countries and Italy.
The MigraVenture Programme targets immigrants from Africa legally living in Italy. It is open to applicant from all African countries but puts a special focus on immigrants from countries prioritised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and on women entrepreneurs. Business ideas must demonstrate a positive social, economic and environmental impact, and special interest is paid to businesses who will cooperate with other firms in Africa or Italy. Candidates submit a proposal including a description of their business idea and a detailed business plan. The proposals are evaluated by a team of experts who select the most compelling ones based on the quality of the business plan, the foreseen medium-term profitability and social, economic and environmental sustainability of the business.
Successful candidates receive support in three phases. First, aspiring entrepreneurs participate in a training programme in Italy. The group training covers business idea development, management skills, and how to develop potential entrepreneurial projects in Africa. During this phase, participants refine their business ideas. In a second phase, entrepreneurs with the most viable projects receive individual coaching. The best projects are presented to a network of potential investors and selected projects also receive micro-capitalisation from the MigraVenture fund. In a third phase, projects are followed up and monitored, and technical assistance is provided in all countries where the business activities are implemented.
The pilot edition of the programme (2016-17) received about 100 applications, out of which 41 aspiring entrepreneurs from 13 countries were selected for the training phase. 33 entrepreneurs moved on to the personalised coaching phase of the programme. The MigraVenture fund invested for a micro-capitalisation stake in ten of these projects. This pilot was deemed successful and resulted in the launch of MigraVenture 1.2, which has been on-going since 2018. Over 2016-19, MigraVenture and MigraVenture 1.2 trained 65 entrepreneurs and provided personalised coaching to 46 of them.
- IOM (2021), “ Migration and Private Sector”, https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:W0SrttIlv-EJ:https://italy.iom.int/en/activities/migration-and-development/mida-youth-somalia+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=fr
- IOM (2018), « Migraventure - Edizione 2016/2017”,
- ETIMOS (2020), “Migraventure”, www.etimos.org/progetti/archivio-progetti/migraventure/.
- ETIMOS (2020), “Migraventure 1.2”, www.etimos.org/progetti/archivio-progetti/migraventure-12/.