ZAGREB, February 5, 2019 – Migrant entrepreneurship has great potential, but in Croatia that is a marginal topic and there are several obstacles preventing it from developing, above all administrative and financial obstacles, it was said at a panel discussion on Tuesday.
Mirela Alpeza, the director of the Centre for Development Policy for SMEs (CEPOR) believes that the issue of migrant entrepreneurship is inadequately represented in the public and political spheres, adding that there is a lot of potential in migrant entrepreneurship which isn’t being utilised in Croatia.
For example, there are 37 million people living in the EU who were not born there, which makes up for 7% of the total population. In Great Britain, one in seven companies is a migrant company and they employ 14% of the population in that country. In the past 20 years, the number of migrant companies in the USA has increased from 13% to 28%.
The head of the Asylum, Integration and Human Safety Programme at the Centre for Peace Studies, Sara Kekuš, warned of a lack of statistical data on migrant entrepreneurship in Croatia.
She underscored the lack of a strategy and a public policy for the social and economic integration of migrants, adding that the current action plan focuses only on refugees and not migrants.
Kekuš added that the biggest problem facing migrant entrepreneurship is red tape, above all trying to obtain a Personal Identification Number (OIB) or taxation number required to launch or register a business.
In addition, foreigners from third countries are required to deposit at least 100,000 kuna in founding capital to start a public company or as much as 200,000 kuna to start a private company, which for most migrants is impossible.
More news on the migrant issues in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.