Our refugee entrepreneurs miss each other and our networking events
We talked to Stefanie, Project Manager at FITT gGmbh in Germany, who explained how COVID-19 outbreak had impacted their work. To continue supporting refugees to create their own business, FITT rapidly reorganized its activities online and provided help to all entrepreneurs. With the hope of being able to laugh together soon. Watch the video to learn more.
The first time, it was a shock for everybody. In a few days, we had to equip our participants with laptops and software. And it’s hard to explain how to use only online, and our team had to reorganize all communication, organization with our experts and stakeholders and especially our participants.
Hey people, my name is Stefanie, I’m working at FITT in Saarbrucken, near the borderline with France. FITT is an institute of the University of Applied Sciences. Supporting people from all over the world to start their own business in Germany is one of our main topics.
How are you facing the Covid-19 outbreak?
Now we have a few meetings with the whole group, we work more in break out and peer-to-peer coaching, but online. A big problem was the communication with the young entrepreneurs that have started from less than two years. Some of them suffer from existential problems because they cannot do business with the pandemic. We supported them to apply for the so-called ‘Sofort Hifen’ by talking with tax consultants and completing the applications.
What is the impact on the refugees you are helping?
We see admirable people, very disciplined in their online meetings, even if they have small children staying at home too. They miss each other, and they miss our networking events, where to find experts, networkers, and perhaps, investors. But they miss laughing, to be in an easy way. They miss and we miss it too.
What is your hope for the coming months?
I hope that we can have our big event in December, where our participants can show their business models to a lot of hosts.
What do you and the entrepreneurs you are supporting need the most?
Our participants need a good digital environment, and they need one-to-one meetings with the coaches to talk about what’s going on, to talk about their problems, their ideas, their doubts. Perhaps somebody needs financial support, we need some situations to laugh at one another because this is important for life. And we, as team, we need some digital equipment too. We need a lot of fantasy to create new online methods. At last, we need you, The Human Safety Net, to see that we are not alone.