Neighborhood Economics Summit 2017, SF. — Report post.

Neighborhood Economics Summit 2017 at Impact Hub San Francisco. Photo Credits: Lars Ling

The Challenge:

How to integrate migrants from different countries into the Swedish workforce and society, how to enable meaningful opportunities to create economic independency in daily activities of immigrants, and how to prepare our #playground for inclusive societies and equality of opportunities.

Background Information about migration to Sweden.

Information from the Swedish Migration Agency (2017) shows that refugees asking for asylum in Sweden during the last 5 years accounts for approximately 350,000 persons, from which 10% are unaccompanied minors. According to Sweden.Se, 17% of the current Swedish population was born abroad and 25% have foreign parents.

Ref. Number of persons in Sweden asking for asylum. Source: Swedish Migration Agency

The nationalities of refugees in 2015 are shown in the chart below.

Source: Swedish Statistics Office

According to the Swedish Migration Office (2017), the reasons why people immigrate to Sweden are diverse. In 2015, only 20% of the immigrants sought asylum while 32% had family visas. In 2016, almost 50% sought asylum.

Ref. Reasons why immigrants arrived to Sweden in the year 2015 and 2016. Source. Swedish Migration Office.

In a recent interview, Mr. Quang Evansluong, a researcher and doctor on immigrant entrepreneurship from Jonkoping University, Sweden, claims that there is research showing that it can take up to 2 or 3 generations for immigrants to integrate into swedish society.

What actions can be taken to turn this challenge into an opportunity? What are the different approaches social innovators and entrepreneurs are taking to tackle this challenge? what are the actions local and national public offices are taking? what are the weakness in those approaches? what are other methods using around the world that can be adjusted and replied in Sweden? Those are some of the questions that I have been actively investigating and answering for the last 2 years.

The Neighborhood Economics Framework

Neighborhood Economics (NE) has a unique systems approach that aims to create not one start-up at a time but to activate the economy of an entire community therefore accelerating the process of wealth creation and integration. Find more information about NEF on https://medium.com/@jpcandiotti/neighborhood-economics-framework-a-systemic-approach-to-boost-immigrant-entrepreneurship-c8ca2e78755b

As far as I have seen, all the incubators and entrepreneurship programs aim to build one startup at time, therefore the power of NE #NeighborhoodEconomics #NE is powerful and exponential for wealth creation at a community level.

Neighborhood Economics Summit 2017

Kevindoylejones, founder of Social Capital Markets and Ambassador at large of Neighborhood Economics, invited me to participate of Neighborhood Economics Summit and Social Capital Markets annual gathering SOCAP 2017.

The invitation to the summit came at a perfect time as I had been working as a consultant for the municipality of Karlskrona on the topic of immigrant entrepreneurship and I already knew about the power of Neighborhood Economics. Below are photos of a workshop I did days before the summit.

Ref. Workshop identifying local opportunities. Photo credits. Entrepreneurship Compass Program of the Municipality of Karlskrona and The Employment Office.

The objective of the invitation: (1) to become part of the peer learning network of system entrepreneurs and Neighborhood Economics facilitators; (2) to be part of the conversations both at SOCAP and NE Summit and to learn about the different approaches systems entrepreneurs are taking to foster entrepreneurship at a community level; (3) to plan and implement a unique combination of Neighborhood Economics Framework in and for the community of immigrants in my city.

Day 1 of Neighborhood Economics Summit — The common goal.
1.1 Vision of success 1.2 Analysis of current situation of local entrepreneurial ecosystems 1.3 Methods for funding 1.4 Discussion about different programs participants are running to boost entrepreneurship.

Vision of success
For most of the participants their vision of success for the summit was (1) to learn about different methods to boost entrepreneurship on non-priviliged communities; (2)to meet fellow advocates of NE, develop connections and synergies; (3) to learn about mechanism for funding system entrepreneurs and local entrepreneurs. In addition, for me and a fellow participant from Toronto, our vision of success included (4) to specifically understand the dynamics of Neighborhood Economics better, and to better understand how the different actors and functions can be represented in our local communities.

My interest to specifically understand the dynamics of Neighborhood Economics, and to better understand how the different actors and functions can be represented in our local communities is due to the fact that I want to strategically create a living system, an adaptive system, self-organizing and governing model based on the model of Neighborhood Economics where the actors and functions are active along the time, even without having me there in the operations. Therefore, using these dynamics as an engine for enabling opportunities that carry back economic wealth and health (meaning making).

Strengths and Weaknesses in entrepreneurship eco-systems.
Strengths: Many private initiatives with different kind of organizations that aims to foster local entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial communities.
Weaknesses: Lack of capacity and resources for cross-sector collaborations, lack of policies of local governments and ability of politicians to reach out to stakeholders, lack of capital for investment, gap in skills for entrepreneurs, lack of knowledge and use of different business structures and financial instruments, cultural skepticism for new entrepreneurs, lack of co-creation spaces and mindset for collaboration.

Mechanism for funding
State supported financing organisms, loans, pairing investors with micro-enterprises, direct public offerings, crowdfunding, local currencies, social bonds, community investments, community lenders, friends and family, money and mentors, among others.

Existing programs
Diverse initiatives mission oriented projects were presented and the operations models were discussed among the participants.

Day 2 — Organizing the next steps for the peer learning network and funding development.
A 4 levels strategy for the development of the peer learning network and funds development. Level 1: Easy tech and free of charge platform (Slack Channel), regional meet-ups and global webinars. Level 2: Find a funding for data development, stipends for annual convenings, development of case studies, brand building, etc. Kaufmann Foundation is interested in funding the learning network. Level 3: Create a capital for lending and loan-loss reserve. W.K Kellogg Foundation provides a program-related investment loan to strengthen rural community organizations. Level 4: Funding operations of a permanent vehicle.

So, what is next in Karlskrona?
Looking for magicians and co-creators to develop the Swedish Version of Neighborhood Economics and audaciously activate the local economy of Kungsmarken- the neighborhood of 8,000 immigrants in Karlskrona.

Photo Credits: www.sydostran.se

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About the experience and competences of the author of this post and project.
I been working with business development, entrepreneurship, startups, innovation conferences and incubators since the last 5 years in Sweden and 2 years before that in Peru. I am a resilient entrepreneur on theory and practice, holding a MBA (2014) from Jonkoping University with focus on entrepreneurial processes and innovation systems; also I have a MsC in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (2015) from Blekinge Institute of Technology, my master thesis is a study case about how the most important public office for entrepreneurship in Sweden foster sustainability venturing.

References.

https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/About-the-Migration-Agency/Facts-and-statistics-/Statistics.html

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Change Maker. Systems Entrepreneur. Featured in Forbes — Leadership US.

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JP Candiotti

JP Candiotti

Change Maker. Systems Entrepreneur. Featured in Forbes — Leadership US.

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