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The 3 Mexican Women Creating a Hub for Latin Shepreneurs in Italy

What to do to start a company in Italy, what are the relevant institutions, and how to sell more in the Italian market, are all questions that Migrantpreneur provides the answers for.

By Salma Arafa

Fer is a Mexican girl living in Italy, with a prestigious job in the fashion industry. Yet, the young woman always aspired to start her own business and to have a skin care and beauty company. And, like any foreigner, she did not have a solid background about Italy’s business ecosystem, and did not know how to start a business in the country. Not having any entrepreneurs in her circle to help her fulfill her dream, Fer faced many challenges, and everyone around her advised her to stay at her fine stable profession.

Many immigrant entrepreneurs face challenges when establishing their startups away from their home countries. From insufficient knowledge of the market and the country’s business landscape to cultural and bureaucratic barriers, experiencing the challenging-nature of entrepreneurship, in a foreign country is not an easy road.

But Vanessa Sesma, Zaidy Valdiviezo, and Irma Rodriguez decided to change the story. Having personally gone through the hardships of establishing a business in a non-native country, the three Mexican women founded “Migrantpreneur,” a digital business incubator for Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs in Italy. The three founders aim to help Latin entrepreneurs living in Italy, to “Make their business dream come true,” by offering educational content, workshops, personal mentoring, and most importantly creating a network for all Latin entrepreneurs in Italy.

“We would like to create is a world where migration is not a barrier.” Vanessa Sesma, Co-founder of Migrantpreneur

The idea of Migrantpreneur ignited as a way to help the great number of highly qualified Latin female entrepreneurs in Italy, who cannot find a job or do not have enough resources to start their own business. Later on, the project’s idea developed, and the startup expanded their target audience, to “Hispanic Entrepreneurs in Italy.” In only one year, Migrantpreneur have helped around 150 immigrant entrepreneurs, and still dreams to reach 2000 Hispanic entrepreneur in Italy.

Understanding the importance of extending and growing their community through an online platform, the three Founders created a Facebook group to create a hub for immigrant entrepreneurs to support and help one another in this hard journey. Moreover, the Facebook group acts as a space for “Migrantpreneurs” to find valuable content, video tutorials, tools, and information to help their businesses start and flourish.

“I think that as immigrants, we adapt faster, we take risks, and we try to be the best we can. And, that’s a huge advantage we have now, in this uncertain time, as for us, everything is always uncertain…so we can keep moving, especially during this hard time!” Irma Rodriguez, Co-founder of Migrantpreneur

Migrantpreneur was among many businesses that got affected by COVID-19, yet Vanesa, Zaidy, and Irma have successfully adapted to the new changes caused by the global pandemic.

As immigrants, the online world was something we already got used to before this pandemic. We used to call with Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime, there was nothing new for us,” Irma Rodriguez, one of Migrantpreneur Founders told Startups Without Borders on how they adapted with COVID-19. 

Thru the pandemic Migrantpreneur launched its first online course, and it is taking new opportunities through its online presence.

The digital incubator came to life with the help of Entreprise4Integartion, a business association in Italy and Mexico that helps both Italian and Mexican enterprises to develop businesses between the two countries.

You can check the full video interview here.

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