“Some people don’t like the word ‘foreigner’ but my point is to show there’s nothing wrong with it. Foreigners can achieve things regardless of the labels they are given…I want to help migrants improve their lives by starting their own businesses.” – Rafael Dos Santos
In March 2014 Rafael, an award-winning Brazilian entrepreneur, started a campaign to promote migrant entrepreneurs in the media. He did this to inspire and motivate other migrants to start their own business. After a few meetings with potential advertisers and having the realisation to change the campaign to a more long-term social enterprise, ‘This Foreigner Can’ was born.
Rafael has experienced the struggle of succeeding in a new country first-hand. Moving to the UK 14 years ago from Brazil, leaving his job at Microsoft, Rafael started by washing dishes and cleaning people’s houses while studying English. Over time Rafael met a lot of people and an opportunity came along for him to start his own property business. By taking that plunge, he has now moved on to winning various business awards along with pocketing a solid 12 years of experience.
“Small businesses today are the big businesses of tomorrow. Selfridges was founded by an American migrant and M&S by a Belarus migrant (with an English business partner).”
“Small businesses employ millions of people in the UK. There is an estimate of 5.1 million small businesses and almost 1 million (14% ) are owned by migrants, as reported by the Centre for Entrepreneurs.”
Not only does Rafael have the experience and knowledge behind him to help migrants to succeed but he has the motivation and driven personality to pass on and assist others to make opportunities for themselves like he has done. That’s why he is launching the Migrant Business Accelerator.
The Migrant Business Accelerator is a 16-week programme. Migrants in the UK who want to start their own business receive funding opportunities and mentoring through the programme. Throughout the programme there will be 28 workshops in finance, marketing and operations.
“The combination of these 3 elements, we believe is the formula to successfully start and launch a small business. We are in the process of opening our first workspace where migrants will have a desk and receive business mentoring too,” Rafael explains.
Applications are open now so kick start your opportunity and send through your fresh business ideas by visiting the This Foreigner Can website here. You must apply by the 20th September 2015 to be considered for the programme.
Rafael offers a final few words of wisdom to encourage people to get involved and apply:
“For migrants who want to change their lives and have a prosperous and lucrative future please visit our site and apply today. By becoming an entrepreneur you have freedom to decide what to do with your future and meet great people who will help you along the way.”
This Foreigner Can are also on the lookout for social investors who are wanting to help with social change and have a return on investment along the way. Visit the This Foreigner Can website here for more details.