Contributing to the Global Compact on Migration: How to Support Migrant Entrepreneurship

15 June 2017

MSM’s Dean Professor Wim Naudé is taking part in an Panel of Experts convened by the World Bank (KNOMAD) and GIZ to work towards informing and shaping the planned establishment of a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration by the UN in 2018.  The Panel convened in Berlin in the first week of June 2017.

The Global Compact on Migration, proposed by the UN General Assembly in September 2016 is to be an “internationally negotiated framework of actionable commitments to guide member states and international organisations, to harness the benefits of migration and address the challenges”.

One of the questions that are increasingly asked by the international community in this regard is how can migrants be supported to be entrepreneurial, to start-up firms, to be self-reliant, and to contribute to job creation?

According to Professor Naudé, migration can potentially serve to improve the entrepreneurial dynamism of regions, both in sending, receiving and transit countries. “Entrepreneurship can be a vehicle to help alleviate the plight of migrants and their left-behind family members”, says Naudé, adding that “… entrepreneurship may have however some downsides in this context if not managed: it can be a poverty-trap for migrants and/or exacerbate social strains and demands on regulatory oversight. In the extreme case, ‘destructive’ entrepreneurial practices can even support human trafficking, illegal migration, corruption and crime”.

In a recent paper published by Professor Naudé and co-authors in the IZA Journal of Migration (see below) some of these aspects, and their possible implications for supporting migrant entrepreneurship, are explored.

Maastricht School of Management has rolled out a number of initiatives in recent times to assist migrants, refugees and the sending, receiving and transit countries that are affected by this, especially in terms of migrant entrepreneurship policies, issues of governance of migrants and refugee communities, managing the refugee crisis, and highlighting the plight of women entrepreneurs in refugee camps.

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