The ARISE migrant women of Palermo


Last week, the first part of the training course on entrepreneurship skills of the ARISE Project -Appetite for Enterprise was concluded. This course is part of an international EU-funded Project within the AMIF (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund) Programme.

The first training cycle, composed by five workshops, was devoted to the discovery and development of the transversal skills, which are both useful and paramount to set up a successful business based on strong human bonds.

The participants to this training course are migrant and/or refugee women who live in the city of Palermo; their countries of origin span from Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco to Syria and Chile. What brought them together is the shared passion and will to start a business in Palermo. The vast majority would like to open a restaurant, so to make locals discover the receipts and tastes of their home countries, as well as try to create new and innovative mix with the local cuisine; others would like to open small shops to make and sell their traditional delicatessen, artisanal and local products.

Together with the trainer, they undertook a process of self-awareness, raising and strengthening of their already acquired competences: they indeed started by analysing and sharing their fears, weaknesses and strengths, to then focus on their verbal communication skills, their body language expression and their active listening skills, while keeping in mind the importance that cultural differences play when we interact with people coming from countries and backgrounds which are different from our own. After this, they worked on team-work and the smooth and efficient management of group dynamics, on how to best apply conflict resolution strategies and on how to spot natural leadership skills and attitudes both on others and on themselves. To conclude, the best strategies to master effective negotiation skills were explored.

The learning flow was extremely smooth, organic and fully participative, it accounted for a great deal of active and passionate involvement for the women, who contributed and enriched the debates with their knowledge, their life experiences, opinions and suggestions.

The main goal of this first cycle of workshops was to provide the participants with a strong baseline upon which they will develop some more technical competences that are necessary to start up a business, indeed. During the second cycle of the training, a business coach will help them acquire all the tools to create a business model canvas, a sustainable business plan and the means to conduct the feasibility study and assessments prior their debut in the business market of Palermo.

The ARISE learning path is just at the beginning!

We wish our participants best luck and we truly hope that at the end of this project they will manage to make their dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs a reality, for the sake of their own fulfillment and to enrich our city with their ideas and their ventures.