The Future path project opens business opportunities in Iraq for asylum seekers and Finnish enterprises
The Future path project provides entrepreneurship training for asylum seekers in cooperation with Finnish small and medium sized enterprises(SMEs), focusing on identifying business opportunities in Iraq.
In Future path, Laurea University of Applied Sciences (UAS) and Haaga-Helia UAS offer tailored training programs for the asylum seekers who have received a negative decision for their asylum application. Training and counselling aim at improving the asylum seekers’ employment possibilities in their home country by presenting a range of future career paths in Iraq’s reconstruction process with business options supported by the Finnish companies participating in the project. Ultimately, the Future Path project will help the people undergoing the asylum seeking process understand their own situation and choose the best alternatives for their future livelihood and residence.
Future path is a pilot project from August 2019 to July 2020, and it is funded by AMIF fund of European Union. The pilot is beginning for long-term relationships and hands-on cooperation, and it is the first of its kind in Europe.
The main project actions focus on developing and implementing a training program that pays attention to the special features and needs of the Iraqi society and market area. The training program will also improve the participants’ knowledge and skills on setting up and running a business in Iraq. The target audience are the Iraqi asylum seekers living in Finland.
The project also provides information and training on the services available for people returning to their home country. This training is aimed at both asylum seekers and the Finnish enterprises interested in operating abroad. Future path strives for increasing the asylum seekers’ knowledge of employment opportunities in Iraq. Furthermore, one of the goals is to create an educational concept which empowers the Iraqi asylum seekers by strengthening their entrepreneurial capabilities and encouraging initiatives for entrepreneurship. The Future path concept enhances self-employment skills and creates opportunities for sustainable economic cooperation together with Finnish SMEs. After issuing the training certificate as well as attending in personal counselling and company-based orientation, asylum seekers may make an agreement with a Finnish company to continue cooperation and to start a business in Iraq.
Future path is coordinated by Laurea UAS in cooperation with Haaga-Helia UAS. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finnish Ministry of the Interior, Finnish Chamber of Commerce, and IOM (UN organisation).
Pauli Turunen, Project Manager, Laurea UAS
Pia Kiikeri, Project Manager, Haaga-Helia UAS, School of Vocational Teacher Education