Jamie Taylor

Library of Best Practice

RE-LAB: Start up your Business

The RE-LAB project: START-UP YOUR BUSINESS, is funded by the Italian Minister of the Interior – Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration and the European Union, under the European Fund for Refugees. The aim is to promote business ventures by people who hold international protection in order to provide them with the skills and tools they need to start their own business. Participants will be accompanied through a guidance and training course and supported as they set up their new businesses.

The initiative is sponsored by the International Training Centre of the ILO, in partnership with the Italian Council for Refugees, the Micro Progress non-profit organization, the Associazione Microfinanza e Sviluppo and the Municipality of Venice. It will last for two years. The first Module started in 2012, while the second will be delivered from July 2013 to June 2014.

The initiative is aimed at people who hold international protection (refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries (SPBs) who intend to start their own business in Italy.

RE-LAB project is a PILOT initiative addressing the needs of refugees beyond emergency assistance, i.e. the creation of employment and the access to finance. As such it seeks to promote entrepreneurial initiatives among refugees by providing them with the necessary competencies and tools for developing and launching their business ideas through training, tutoring and mentoring, and financial support. It involves the following components:

  • Identificiation and Selection: of potential entrepreneurs among the refugee population.
  • Entrepreneurship Training: for selected potential refugee entrepreneurs (total 96 hours): Entrepreneurship orientation (32 hours); Development of a business idea, model and plan (64 hours).
  • Assessment and Selection of Business Models/Plans:for further (start-up) support.
  • Financial (max EUR 15.000 grant per start-up) and Technical (tutoring and mentoring) business support for selected start-ups.

The planned activities include

 Selection of people who hold international protection who are interested in taking part in the project

  • Guidance and training of approximately 120 people who hold international protection through training courses.
  • Evaluation of business plans drawn up during the training course in order to identify 20 new business ideas and selection of those considered most effective and sustainable.
  • Business start-up assistance for six business ideas during the first year and a further seven in the second year.


The proposed training programme is based on the ILO guides “KAB – Know About Business”,“GYB – Generate Your Business Idea” and “SIYB – Start and Improve Your Business” on business start-up and development.  For more information: www.ideatua.it


If you are a refugee, download the registration form here.