Last January the Directorate of Labour in Iceland received a grant from the Development fund for Immigrants to put up a business training for women of foreign origin. Our partners in the application were the Innovation Centre of Iceland, who have provided training for women entrepreneurs for many years, called Brautargengi, and the association Women of Multicultural Ethnicity Network in Iceland.
Our aim was to provide practical training for women of foreign ethnicity, where they could work on their business idea and put up a complete business plan as the result. Preparation started last summer and then we advertised the training in August.
We received 27 applications and those 22 participants were accepted.
To be a foreign woman in Iceland involves a lot of challenges. To name a few, there is the Icelandic language, that is probably not the easiest one in the world, different culture, you might not have your family and friends here and maybe you cannot use your education as you would like. Also, unfortunately, the attitude towards people of foreign origin is not always a positive one.
One of the solutions might be to put up your own company where you can use your knowledge and skills.
The training consisted of modules such as business strategy, marketing, social media, finance, taxes, product development, entrepreneurship, branding and how to present yourself and your company. The training started in September and the duration was 14 weeks.
In the beginning of December all participants introduced their business ideas. A formal graduation was held at NMÍ on the 14th of December.
The business ideas were diverse, tourism, jewellery, import, dating agency, rent of baby things, such as chairs and cots.
Alexandra Martini received recognition for the best business plan for Martinis Fire, a company that designs jewellry:
The business plan is carefully worked out and the passion of the owner shines through. Marketing- and financial matters are well thought out, detailed and the project is likely to succeed.
Nikki Kwan Ledesma received recognition for the best presentation for Wheels and Tours, a tourist company:
The presentation was good and convincing, delivered professionally and with passion.