On the 29th of May, a special event, the only one of its kind in Lithuania, was held in Vilnius. The “Migrant Talent Garden” initiative is part of an international business strategy, organised between seven partner organisations from Lithuania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Latvia, Iceland and Norway.
The project was implemented to study European entrepreneurship, but above all to help migrants develop their own business ideas and create new jobs. To do so, the organisations will create a business support network and training programs, supported by an online platform and local centres to help and train young entrepreneurs from migrant backgrounds.
The “Migrant Talent Garden” event held in Vilnius gathered migrants, business enthusiasts and experts, thinkers and doers who seek changes. Working together, the different actors aim at helping migrants boost their competences and get employed. During the event, five experts did a presentation in front of the audience:
- Migrants & refugees’ integration in Lithuania (by VA Caritas);
- Start-up ecosystem in Lithuania (by StartUp Division);
- Migrant communities (by Balturka Culture Academy);
- Challenges migrant professionals faces (by Toye Samson Abiodun);
- Project’s “Migrant Talent Garden” presentation (by EU Youth Project);
After the presentations, participants had a networking time, with the opportunity to meet and discuss with project’s partners from other countries, and interact with professional field experts from business incubators, migrants’ integration and other related areas.
The presentations were the occasion to learn about how organisations are working for migrants’ integration in Lithuania. As an example, the Caritas Association currently works with 270 individuals (mainly asylum seekers and refugees), and focus on language, education and providing information about the Lithuanian labour market. The experts also raised questions and challenges in migrants’ integration, focusing on what still needs to be improved. Lithuanian language, as well as the lack of information are the main obstacles.
These presentations demonstrated why initiatives like “Migrants Talent Garden” are essential. By implementing business network and trainings programs directly addressing migrants’ needs, it is possible to raise employment rates, and more importantly, to help them integrate into the Lithuanian society.