Building Better Futures

Building Better Futures: Building Social Enterprise with Migrant Women Entrepreneurs funded under the ESF Gender Equality Fund, Women’s Entrepreneurship

Before coming to Ireland, many migrant women were entrepreneurs and active in business. Discrimination, language barriers, cultural issues, poor networks and a lack of understanding about Irish systems and legislation are some of the many additional barriers migrant women have to overcome to set up a business here. Increasing entrepreneurial activity in migrant women has positive social and economic impact and can be done through targeted training programmes, tailored to their specific needs. Building Better Futures is funded by the ESF Gender Equality fund under the women’s entrepreneurship stream which aims to increase women’s entrepreneurship, address discrimination in the workplace, and create equal opportunities for marginalised groups.

Phase 1:  Training for Migrant Women Entrepreneurs

We have teamed up with the DCU Ryan Academy to run customised entrepreneurship training for migrant women. We are providing free access to training in entrepreneurship where women will make connections with industry experts to troubleshoot their business ideas. They will receive practical and technical know-how and support during the training, scheduled to start in March 2018 and run for nine weekends.  Modules will be tailored to meet the needs of the participants and mentors will be sought to suit the range of participants and business ideas to achieve the best outcomes.

Phase 2: Developing Social Enterprise with Migrant Women in Care

Quality care and quality jobs are intrinsically linked. Ireland needs more and better jobs in homecare. Employment in the sector continues to grow. Women from an immigrant background are already overrepresented in the sector, where pay, treatment, and terms and conditions are poor. We are working with migrant women to establish a social enterprise in home care that can deliver quality accessible care services along with decent jobs that allow homecare workers themselves to live with dignity and have a decent quality of life.

Social enterprises are viable businesses that address real social issues, and social enterprises in home care have proven successful in other countries. Our project partners in SEDco are social enterprise experts and have a proven track record working with NGOs, individuals and groups to develop successful businesses with social impact. This is a migrant-led project that, over 3 years, will carry out ongoing training, identify and develop a viable business model with customers, sales points and financial plans, and ultimately start trading and create decent employment and quality services. We want to demonstrate the benefits of investing in communities and social enterprise to create jobs in decent, sustainable working environments.


This project is part-supported by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund (ESF) Fund 2014-2020 as part of the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.