Have any questions?
+44 1234 567 890
Ana comes from Costa Rica. She is the Founder and CEO of Migrapreneur, a purpose-driven company based in Berlin. Her first organization was Migration Hub Network, founded in 2015 when she arrived in Germany. She founded Migrapreneur as a response to her personal journey as an entrepreneur in December 2020 with the goal of supporting migrant entrepreneurs. In 2021 Migrapreneur acquired a nonprofit daughter organization Bureaucrazy that was founded by 3 Syrians. “Our mission is to make the entrepreneurial ecosystem more inclusive for more people,” says Ana.
What motivated you to start a business as a migrant entrepreneur?
I came here as an economical migrant with family reunification. When I arrived here, it was very difficult to adapt or find a job. I had a career back home (Costa Rica) with long experience -more than 13 years- but when I started to apply for jobs and go to interviews, I figured out that there was a lot of bias for us migrants. I received questions that were really hurtful and quite shocking, almost like making fun of the quality of education from my country. I was new and didn't know anybody. So one day, I signed up for a meetup to take on a volunteer position. It was full of people building new things and new organizations. I met a group of people who wanted to build something like a room for migration. A couple of months later, I built a team in a room with only one table and bottle crates, and this is how my first nonprofit organization Migration Hub started, it grew up quickly. In two and a half years, we received more than 5.000 visitors, from people looking for support to those attending our workshops and more than 152 events.
What entrepreneurial challenges have you encountered that you wish you had more help with?
I ran into a lot of problems with bureaucracy. I was lost in letters, payments that I didn't know I had to do. Neither did my lawyer, nor mentors warned me about it. I was guided on how to build a great pitch, but nobody knew how to guide you through the bureaucracy. This lack of knowledge, when you don't have all the resources can damage your future if you are not aware of these things. What I wished to have known is all the resources that existed and the tons of amazing support that exist today.
Who or what empowered you during your entrepreneurial journey?
When the challenges started to show up, I got depressed. Totally isolated and felt that I was failing, but it was then, the migrants who used my Hub, the migrant entrepreneurs part of our programs, and those migrant founders who I knew who never allowed me to give up.
How can female founders who were not born in Germany be supported to ease their way into entrepreneurship?
By telling them what exists and making sure they feel there's a network of support out there, willing to understand the importance of entrepreneurship, funds, safe spaces where to talk, innovate and grow, plus provide them with information that is easy to understand. Most of us face a lack of information and programs like Grace designed for us.
What is your personal tip for women/immigrant founders who want to start a business?
It's 2022. You are not alone! Do it! Today, there are programs like Grace and networks like Migrapreneur ready to help you! Ready to support female migrants to find peers and places where to feel guided and share the same story and resources. And that's the best advice I can tell them because it is not only about just building a business, it's about starting by supporting each other.
Thank you so much Ana!