IOM Joins UNCTAD and UNHCR to Publish Entrepreneurship Policy Guide for Migrants and Refugees

The Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees offers practical guidance that ensures refugees and migrants can use their skills and abilities to build their livelihoods while contributing to host communities and economies.

Geneva – The Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees was launched this Wednesday (24/10) during the 2018 World Investment Forum at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The guide is the product of intensive work and collaboration between UNCTAD, UNHCR and IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

Drawing on the experience, knowledge and networks of UNCTAD, IOM and UNHCR in the fields of migration and entrepreneurship development this inter-agency document offers practical guidance to policymakers and development partners. It was produced as part of the response to the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, signed at the 71st UN General Assembly in September 2016, and in response to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Its publication comes just a few weeks before international leaders meet to sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakech, Morocco later this year.

“The creation of economic opportunities for all, with the purpose of leaving no one behind, is a priority of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” noted UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant in a press statement. “One mechanism to achieve this is through the promotion of entrepreneurship.”

This guide argues that entrepreneurship can be an effective way to include migrants and refugees in local economies and enhance their contributions to countries of origin by sharing their knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit, creating new market opportunities, leveraging cross-border networks and generating employment. Policies and programmes play an important role in supporting entrepreneurial activity by (and for) refugees and migrants and in addressing the barriers they face to engaging in economic activity.

“The launch of the Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees can reap huge benefits by bringing together stakeholders working on migration and those dealing with economic development and entrepreneurship,” said Amb. Thompson ahead of the launch.  “I call upon all to unite forces in raising awareness about the positive impact and opportunities migrants offer by promoting transnational entrepreneurial networks and the circulation of skills, knowledge and financial resources across countries of origin and destination.”

The Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees is available here.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ:
Deepali Fernandes, Tel: +41 22 717 9547, Email :
Vanessa Okoth-Obbo, Tel: +41 22 717 9366,