Unfortunately, the equal opportunities principle is not an unknown phrase amongst general public. However, various marginalized groups still exist, for example at the labour market. A survey conducted by the Organization for Aid to Refugees has shown that it is especially foreign nationals who might be disadvantaged when looking for work, particularly when their education is not recognized and/or they must look after their children or other members of their family.
One of the keys how to overcome these difficulties is to establish their own business which can be demonstrated on the recent trending examples of successful firms managed by foreign females – vegetarian bistros, ethno-catering, import of cosmetics and production and distribution of candies to Czech restaurants.
In its project aiming to increase working opportunities by establishing own business activity, the Organization for Aid to Refugees has focused to women coming from third countries.
The project’s coordinator, Ing.Džana Popović describes the current situation: “One of the means of alternative relation of working ambitions of female foreigners is private entrepreneurship. However, it is extremely difficult for third-country nationals to open and maintain their own business without state support. At the beginning, they don’t have many contacts, they don’t know the labour market, they don’t have experience.”
In order for 80 selected women from South-Moravian, Central Bohemian, Pilsen, and South-Bohemian regions to be able to establish their own businesses such as any other businessman with all responsibilities and rights related to it, they need to be supported in a number of ways. Apart from their participation in “Introduction to entrepreneurship” programme, they will be able to enjoy services of a job coach. Andrea Špirková, job coach for Central Bohemia, argues: “Women – foreigners should have someone who can offer them practical help with launching their business plan for real. Such a person will be a consultant, assist in relations with public authorities, provide expert counselling and monitor problems that might occur during implementation of business plan.”
Organization for Aid to Refugees and its regional branches have registered many female clients who lost the chance to continue in their original occupation after moving to the Czech Republic. The most crucial is the language barrier that makes it impossible for women to continue in their professional work. They begin to work as labourers, cleaning ladies etc., despite having finished high / further education in their countries of origin and have sufficient working experience. Due to war conflicts or familial restrictions, some of them have only limited education but they strive to use their potential. The project can therefore offer know-how to migrants and assist them with launching their business plans.
Organization for Aid to Refugees provides a project called “Start in my own place”, financed by ESF through the Operation programme Human Resources and employment, and the state budget of the Czech Republic. The project’s aim is to increase working opportunities of female third-country nationals through specialised programmes, facilitating launch and development of entrepreneur skills with implementation of innovative methods, supplementary measures and tools for connecting working and family life.