MUTUAL MENTORSHIP FOR MIGRANTS AND BUSINESS
THE HUMAN IMPACT: New migrants in Europe do not have the family connections, known names, or networks which are key to get many good jobs in business. Mitt Liv creates new ‘establishment’ structures for young migrants through mentorship and engagement with companies, and in a quid pro quo, migrants offer insight and education about vital new markets and skills, and how to diversify their workforce.
THE NUMBERS IMPACT: Mitt Liv operates in Stockholm, Goteborg, Malmo, Linkoping and Norrkoping in Sweden and mentors close to 600 young people a year.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Mitt Liv is a social enterprise that aims to place educated immigrants into jobs in Sweden. Mitt Liv pairs smart, driven young immigrant women with mentors who could offer advice on everything from résumés to job interviews to Swedish cultural customs (no cheek pinching, for a start). Working through the schools, program taps the most driven of immigrants in Sweden to launch them into the labor market, and build mentor relationships between them and company employees, as well as offer short courses on Swedish society, life-planning, and labor market competitiveness. Overturning the structure of traditional mentorship models, Sofia has created a professional solution, creating a win-win, symbiotic interactive program for participating partner companies. She charges companies for participation and services, drawing mentors from company employees and in turn, positions her young participants as experts for the companies. The participants offer their knowledge of immigrant life and markets through paid lectures, participation in consumer research focus groups and testers, forums, and field trips, offering an inside look at globalization. Furthermore, Sofia’s Mitt Liv program creates a win-win interactive program for these participants by building networks, personal relationships, and life-plans-giving them solid contacts for future opportunities and success to incubate their own ideas and develop their entrepreneurial skills.
WHO STARTED: A serial entrepreneur, Sofia Appelgren founded two companies before she was 20-years-old. Married to a Turkish/Swedish man, she saw immigration issues first-hand, and after a successful business life and author, she was moved to start Mitt Liv.
HOW HELLO EUROPE IS HELPING: Sofia’s work is ready to expand beyond Sweden, and the model is easily applied to other companies around Europe. Ashoka is introducing Sofia to our international offices for spread, and companies for pan-European partnership.
WHAT THEY NEED NOW: Introductions to large European companies and other like-minded organizations working with young immigrants.