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Minority Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise and Other Opportunities. P rof Thomas M. Cooney Academic Director – Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland) www.thomascooney.com. Income Generation Options For Each Individual. Tax generating Employment

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minority entrepreneurship social enterprise and other opportunities

Minority Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise andOther Opportunities

Prof Thomas M. Cooney

Academic Director – Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship

Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)


income generation options for each individual
Income Generation OptionsFor Each Individual
  • Tax generating
    • Employment
    • Self-employment
    • Farming
  • Tax usurping
    • State Support / Welfare
    • Crime
  • Tax neutral (although may have positive / negative tax effect)
    • Begging
    • Inheritance
    • Marriage
    • Sponsorship
    • Pensions
    • Gambling
under represented disadvantaged communities
Under-Represented / Disadvantaged Communities
  • Women, Immigrants and Youth are frequently considered in terms of employment and entrepreneurship
    • Prisoners
    • People with Disabilities
    • Roma / Travellers / Gypsies
    • Gay
  • These communities face additional and distinctive challenges in starting up their own business
ex prisoners economic rationale
Ex-Prisoners - Economic Rationale
  • Approximately 6,364 prisoners in Sweden
  • Re-imprisonment rate is 35%
  • Profile of re-offenders
    • Unemployed prior to re-offence
    • Male
    • Younger (under 30)
  • Career options on leaving prison
    • Back to crime (a prisoner costs on average SEK 2,000 per day)
    • State support (costs state in excess of SEK 320-680 per day)
    • Employment (contributes tax, hard to get a job)
    • Self-employment (contributes to tax and economic activity)
distinctive e ship challenges faced by prisoners
Distinctive E/Ship Challenges Faced By Prisoners
  • Lack of suitable contacts / role models
  • Inability to drive due to lack of license
  • Lack of financial support / credit history
  • Credit payment schemes not available due to record
  • Business insurance very expensive
  • How to present yourself to the bank?*
  • Poor educational and literacy abilities
  • Stigma attached to having a record
  • Lack of follow-through, persistence, dedication (lack will to overcome setbacks)
  • Problems related to the dulling effects prison exerts on some individuals
  • Unable to test-market idea
  • Lack of continuing support
  • Lack of self-confidence (want to set up business while in prison, but rarely follow it up on release)**
training needs
Training Needs
  • Holistic approach needed
  • Seed funding required
  • Business mentors required (not Probation Officers)
  • Must have pre-programme interviews
  • Build one-to-one sessions into the programme
  • Only those being released within 12 months should be on the programme
  • Support of other organisations is critical
employment among disabled
Employment Among Disabled
  • 15.7 % of Swedish population age 16-65 (919,000) have a disability - 47.3% male and 52.7% female
  • Higher rates of unemployment - 67% of disabled persons were in the labour force, compared to 80.3% of non-disabled population
  • Fewer in full-time employment
  • Lower levels of income (internationally) but state support provided to employers in Sweden
  • Poorer levels of education
motivations for self employment
Motivations for Self-Employment
  • Desire to overcome disability
  • Inability to secure / retain job
  • Wish to increase income
  • Flexibility in working hours and workload
  • Rebuild self-esteem
  • Suits / accommodates disability
  • Fear of discrimination in the workplace
  • Autonomy from obstacles such as:
    • Transportation
    • Fatigue
    • Inaccessible work environments
    • Need for personal assistance
  • BUT few tailored self-employment programmes available internationally for people with disabilities
barriers to self employment
Barriers to Self-Employment
  • Difficulties in obtaining start-up capital
    • Lack of own financial resources
    • Poor credit rating
    • Disinterest from the banks
  • Fear of losing regular benefit income (‘welfare trap’)
  • Unhelpful attitudes of business advisers
  • Lack of access to appropriate training and support
developing appropriate support
Developing Appropriate Support
  • Address low educational qualifications
  • Provide tailored training programmes (online)
  • Provide on-going business support
  • Establish microloan funds
  • Implement disability awareness training for business advisers
  • Facilitate self-employment through vocational rehabilitation
  • Actively market services to socially excluded groups
  • Reduce work disincentives
  • Address labour market disadvantages
background to roma travellers
Background to Roma / Travellers
  • It is estimated that there are between 50,000 and 60,000 Roma in Sweden today
  • Recently Swedish police were found to have illegal databases of Roma names
  • Have their own distinct culture
  • Highly entrepreneurial
  • Suffer from limited education, poor health, discrimination, etc
  • General perceptions
    • Want to live on the side of the road,
    • Do not want to be part of Swedish society,
    • Are to blame for crime and anti-social behaviour,
    • Are cheats who do not pay taxes and do not pay for the services that they receive on halting sites,
    • Are associated with violent behaviour (problems with alcohol),
    • Are work shy
  • Significant amounts of money being given to this community through various government schemes
  • Unemployment rates are very high
  • Roma / Travellers want to access waged employment but have
    • to hide their identity
    • a lack of recognised skills
    • low levels of education
    • to face discrimination in the marketplace
  • Traditional industries and skill needs are being lost to a knowledge-based economy
  • Laws on street trading had negative effect on Roma / Travellers
future developments
Future Developments
  • Enormous challenges involved
    • Societal perception
    • Roma / Traveller issues
    • Few role models
  • Health and education need to be addressed as a priority
  • Future programmes require 1-2-1 mentoring
  • Role models needed to break through at local level
  • Solutions need to be highly innovative and long-term in vision – not more programmes that continue dependency
  • Many previous programme providers have decided to no longer work with the Traveller community.
  • BUT – what does the Traveller Community want for itself?
  • Lessons from / for Maori and Aboriginal communities?
different needs
Different Needs
  • Internationally, 18% of gay community are entrepreneurs
    • ‘Lavender ceiling’
    • No family commitments
    • Higher capital availability
  • Current research by IME suggests that:
    • 11% are entrepreneurs (417 responses)
    • 78.1% view themselves as ‘an entrepreneur who is gay’
    • Target gay community as one of many markets
    • Their desire to contribute to the gay community through employment, etc is of minor significance
    • Have suffered abuse in personal circumstances but positive about business practice
    • Homophobia not an issue in starting a business
  • Swedish gay population is estimated at 6%
bringing it all together
Bringing It All Together
  • “We treat everyone the same” is not working
  • Must take a tailored approach to each community
  • Working with organisations within the community must occur
  • Pre-start-up and early start-up requires our help, afterwards they should be mainstreamed
  • It makes sense economically and socially to take a proactive approach that is based on results and tangible outcomes
  • Significant research, training and policy opportunities exist in all countries for work in these areas
a broader perspective
A Broader Perspective
  • Entrepreneurs are key agents of change and innovation
  • Entrepreneurs are not limited to commercial environments
  • Entrepreneurs are also active in many sectors, including the social sector

… so we call entrepreneurs active in the social sector social entrepreneurs

contribution of social entrepreneurs
Contribution of Social Entrepreneurs
  • Social entrepreneurs are agents of societal change
  • Do the statistics back this up?
    • A global network of social entrepreneurs has found the following from an impact assessment survey:
      • 49% have created significant policy changes at a national level
      • 54% have created significant policy changes at a local level
      • 90% have had their innovative approaches replicated by other outside groups
      • 71% are recognised as leaders in their field after 5 years
  • At the end of the day, it means real impact on real people
bigger context
Bigger Context
  • Remember social entrepreneurs are only one part of the solution
    • Charities, NGO’s, state sectors organisations and private sector initiatives are also essential components of an overall solution
  • However, social entrepreneurs can drive innovation and change and offer the possibility of tackling old problems in new ways, making the world a better place for all
  • Does this mean taking a business approach to tackling social problems?

 It means taking an entrepreneurial approach (with is common to both the business and social sectors) to tackling social problems


You can make a difference through your research, work, and attitudesorYou could become aSocial Entrepreneur