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Spirits lifted by inspirational stories from migrant and refugee communities

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Entrepreneurs from the region’s migrant and refugee communities have shared inspirational stories and business advice at a special event held by Ashley Community Housing (ACH) and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

More than 30 business people – most of whom were from a from a migrant or refugee background – soaked up the atmosphere and networking opportunity at Barton Hill Settlement, Bristol, on 12 September and were moved by the empowering testimonies of the inspiring speakers.

The Community Business Support event was opened by Regional Mayor Tim Bowles, who spoke about the support available from WECA, including the West of England Growth Hub, and the value of everyone working together to ensure that, as the region’s economy grows, everyone can benefit and achieve their potential.

Adriene Layne, the double award-winning owner of YelloButterfly Communications was one of the community entrepreneurs who gave an inspirational speech about bridging the gap between the literate and pre-literate worlds.

ACH’s Chief Executive, Fuad Mahamed, gave an insight into the Entrepreneurial Outreach Project, supported by WECA, Engine Shed, Bristol University and the Barton Hill Settlement.

Two thirds of the entrepreneurs who have engaged with the Entrepreneurial Outreach Project over the last 12 months are women. Muna Abdi, Director of Primeway Care, spoke about the successful business she set up in 2014. Her company now employs over 60 people in Bristol, many of whom are from the refugee community, and is currently expanding into London.

WECA’s West of England Growth Hub and ACH have supported a diverse mix of businesses from across many different sectors; including food, tech and entertainment.

Paul Forster, Community Manager at SETsquared also spoke about the continued support for migrant and refugee communities.

To find out more about the wide range of business support available, please visit:

2019-09-16T14:43:04+01:00 September 16th, 2019|