Building on Roma culture of self-employment to expand employment opportunities - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Building on Roma culture of self-employment to expand employment opportunities

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  1. Building on Roma culture of self-employment to expand employment opportunities Lessons from France and Albania « Roma in an expanding Europe : Challenges for the future » Conference, Budapest June 29 - July 1, 2003

  2. 1. Comparison between Roma in Eastern and WesternEurope - Common features : Specific administrative regulations Social rather than economic treatment Income generating activities rather than entreprise creation Objective : to survive not to make profit Specific culture and way of life in opposition with traditional education Roma Rejection by local population Poverty, dependency on social aid missing future

  3. 1. Comparison between Roma in Eastern and WesternEurope - Specific features East West • Roma • Sedentarized population • Working in industry • or agriculture, • now unemployed • Sinti, Kales, Roma • Travelling population • Minimum income • + traditional income • generating activity

  4. 2. What is the challenge? - A double trade-off between : Autonomy Non profit values Market economy or Social aid Temptation to exist by choosing autonomy in a market economy

  5. 3. How to support Roma’s entrepreneurship? - Example of individual lending for travellers (ADIE, France) • Small loans af increasing amount, allowing the travellers to increase their turnover, and be able to pay social insurance • Administrative assistance to register their activity • Business training and support services provided by permanent staff and volunteers • Close connection with Roma associations - playing an advisory role in the selection of clients - creating social pressure on loan recovery


  6. Adie, France : distribution by gender

  7. Adie, France : distribution by age

  8. Adie, France : distribution by status

  9. Adie, France : distribution by education level

  10. Adie, France : distribution by principal activities

  11. 4. Results : • Total loans disbursed : 2000 loans • Number of active clients : 500 • Repayment rate : 94% • Operational sustainability : impossible (cap on interest rates) • Social impact : Even if the registration process is slow, showing the difficulty of a cultural as well as of an economic change, at the end, income generating activities are transformed in registered enterprises. • Possibility of adapting the system for the Roma in Central Europe : • A good chance of success, in cooperation with Roma associations

  12. 5. Example of the Village Credit Funds, Albania Poverty alleviation project in mountain areas based on : • Allocation of a credit fund to the village, (usually about 1/3 of the potential demand) • Election of a Village Committee in charge of allocating and recovering the loans • If the loans are not entirely reimbursed, credit distribution is suspended • People waiting for loans put pressure on those who don’t reimburse on time

  13. 6. Results : • Number of districts : 8 • Number of Village Credit Funds : 73 • Number of savings credit cooperatives : 92 • Total number of loans disbursed since 1993 : 30 000 • Number of active clients : 7 000 • Repayment rate : 99% • Operational sustainability : 78% Possibility of adapting the system to Roma villages in Central Europe : • The « village bank » model could well work in Roma villages in Central Europe. • Its success would depend on the adjustement between the skills of the Roma community, their access to local resources and access to market. • The programme would require business support services including market support.

  14. In both cases, • Introduction of Internet could : • Help young people to maintain their culture by transforming them • into « virtual travellers » • Open access to news markets (ex : Bosnia refugee women • developping fashion knitting with design support)

  15. 7. Expected Impact of microcredit development • Reduction of dependency on loan sharks • Economic and financial autonomy • Better integration in the society • Creating a future may be an incentive for education but • Need to protect group cohesion and culture

  16. 8. Recommendations 1 - Open access to credit combined with business development services and basic vocational training 2 - Review regulatory obstacles to the development of income generating activities and to the mobility of Roma 3 - Launch an Europe wide information campaign to change the vicious circle of discrimination and exclusion