ALMA: Access to Language Methods for Increasing Migrants' Abilities to Start Their Own Business

alma: Access to  Language Methods

ALMA: Access to Language Methods for Increasing Migrants’ Abilities to Start Their Own Business is a European cooperation project aimed at stimulating migrants to begin a new business, to inspire and provide them with practical guidelines in order to start and run a successful company within a new cultural and linguistic context.

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Role Models' Guide / Profiles

The guide introduces active entrepreneurs with migrant background who have become successful thanks to their language and intercultural competences in the partner countries. Promoting real people with real stories, the project provides clear picture on what knowledge and skills are important and needed to be improved and what steps migrants should take towards establishing and running an own company.

See profile in: English Dutch
Photo of Dilek Yildiz

Dilek Yildiz

Dilek Yildiz went against the grain for her own venture

Dilek Yildiz (44) always wanted to become her own boss. But her parents didn't want to hear about it. A woman at the head of a company is not in keeping with their culture. But Dilek likes challenges and persevered.

Yildiz's company is called Sab Bagen, and it trades in auto parts produced in Turkey. The parts are distributed throughout Europe through its office in Rotterdam. Dilek explains her activities: "My main tasks are to find new customers and maintain regular customers. But innovation of products is also very important!"

Dilek continues, about the origins of her company: "I have always wanted to have my own company. I like to have everything in my own hands. I had a lot of support from my sister and now my partner is also assisting me. My parents, on the other hand, think what I do is way too modern and don't want anything to do with it." Yet the latter did not stop Dilek. She and her sister embraced Dutch culture and wanted to develop themselves. "My success factors are hard work and commitment. The big advantage of having my own business is self-development," says Dilek."

Dilek Yildiz usually communicates via LinkedIn, her website and the app. "My target audience is business to business. These are often large and international companies. We promote our products through international fairs and presentations. She says the following about language: "Language is important in every country, learning the language is the first step to independence. Even though it was difficult, I was motivated enough to persevere and keep learning, and, in the end, it brought me so much."

Dilek has some tips for entrepreneurs, with or without a migration background. "Make sure you have a good business plan, a target group, a product and look at what the competition is doing." In addition, Dilek recommends never spending money before something comes in. But the most important thing to her is support. "Find people you trust and who can help you!"