The integration of migrants into the labour market does not need to happen in the form of an employment relationship but can also take place by starting their own enterprise. In the year 2014, for example, about 7,5% of all gainfully employed migrants in Baden-Württemberg were self-employed. A total of 106,000 (of 553,000) self-employed persons in Baden-Württemberg had migration backgrounds. Although the number of migrant businesses has increased strongly in the last two decades and the chosen industry sectors have become more diverse (for example, only one third of them are still in retail trade or in the catering sector), migrants are still underrepresented among self-employed persons at 17% (while they constitute about a quarter of the working population). Although migrants start up businesses three times as often as people without migration backgrounds, they also shut down their enterprises three times as often, which can be explained by several factors: To name just one, migrants often lack the necessary knowledge about the legal and economic conditions for starting and consolidating businesses and about strategies for recruiting and developing skilled labour. Many of them don't know the counselling institutions or rarely take advantage of them. At the same time, many counselling institutions have insufficient access to migrants and lack migration-specific competence.
In order to provide support to persons interested in starting a business as closely as possible to their needs, to prevent company closures and also to advise existing enterprises in matters of organisational and personnel development (skilled labour recruitment), counselling institutions need to become more sensitive to migration issues. Due to the large number of enterprises and last but not least the increasing importance of the migrant economy in the labour market it is all the more necessary that all labour market establishments acknowledge migration-sensitive counselling as a transversal task.
Against that background the IQ Network Baden-Württemberg is developing concepts and recommendations for action for stakeholders in the labour market with the objective of sensitising counselling services to a migration-sensitive perspective and accompanying them in their opening-up processes. In addition, migrant businesses are directly accompanied in their skilled labour development. For this purpose they are queried about their needs and, with that as a starting-point, qualification measures are carried out for entrepreneurs and their employees.