Empowering newcomers to start entrepreneurship through online learning

The number of individuals forced to leave war, violence, human rights abuses, and persecution has reportedly surpassed the startling milestone of 100 million for the first time in recorded history due to the Ukraine war and other conflicts (UNHCR, 2022). Coming to a new country with the hope of rebuilding a life can be challenging for many people. However, entrepreneurship is a powerful tool for newcomers to tackle some of the challenges in the new country, which is integrating themselves into economic systems and societies. Therefore, Forward·Inc, an international organization devoted to helping newcomers (people with a refugee background and all forcibly displaced people) pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, keeps innovating learning programs to help newcomers become entrepreneurs.

“Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool for driven people worldwide to provide for themselves, their families, and their communities. A great idea is great in any language, and we at Forward·Inc are there to support newcomers in their quest to run successful businesses wherever they are located. We care deeply about providing the best help and always strive to go the extra mile. That makes us unique” – Laura Di Santolo, Co-founder & Managing Director of Forward·Inc.

With the spirit to help as many newcomers as possible globally, Forward.Inc provides a Digital Entrepreneurship Program (DEP) that has trained more than 700 newcomers worldwide, with 40% of women participating in the program. DEP is the Forward.Inc’s first program. In total, Forward.Inc has four main programs: DEP, Forward Incubator, Growth Program, and Forward Accelerator. Imagine a journey, Forward• Inc’s programs are like a journey for newcomers to build their business from an idea (DEP) to a scale-up and investment-ready business (Forward Accelerator).

Digital Entrepreneurship Program (DEP)

The Digital Entrepreneurship Program (DEP) is an 8-week online learning program that focuses on building a robust fundamental understanding of business & entrepreneurship. This program will help newcomers turn their vague business idea into concrete business concepts on paper and foster their mindset to become entrepreneur ready. The exciting part of this program is that participants can access the learning materials anywhere in the world.

During eight weeks, newcomers will learn from 12 modules consisting of 68 learning videos. The topics range from introduction to lean startup, creating a lean canvas, finance, and marketing to how to pitch the business idea. In addition, there will be quizzes and assignments to ensure newcomers understand the knowledge and implement it in their business idea. This program also wants to provide the best learning experience by doing weekly live virtual meetings to check newcomers’ learning progress and discuss learning topics with other participants.

Interactive and accessible online learning that connects you with people

Online learning can be lonely and boring sometimes. Therefore, within the program, we use multiple methods and approaches to make participants engage and feel connected. During the program, newcomers can communicate with other participants via Slack with various interesting and valuable sources. As mentioned before, weekly, we have a live virtual meeting where newcomers can share their ideas and discuss them with other participants. So, this program can also make newcomers feel welcome and belong to the community.

“This is truly one of the most amazing programs I have ever seen in my journey. I have found the training sessions, group discussions, and cultural diversity inspiring, and they helped me create a wider perspective toward my future. So, If you want to start shaping a better future for your entrepreneurship journey, join the DEP. ” -Shirshah Amiry, DEP participant, a newcomer from Afghanistan in The Netherlands.

Broaden your network and opportunities as entrepreneurs in the early stage

DEP is a home for 35 nationalities (DEP Fall 2022). So, participants are very diverse and come from different backgrounds, which can enrich the newcomers’ network. During the program, participants also can discuss their business idea with the Forward.Inc team and experts. Also, have a chance to connect with more than 500 other community members that might help your entrepreneurial journey.

So, DEP is more than just online learning. It’s a gate for newcomers to feel more connected, belong, and gain more confidence as entrepreneurs. It’s an opportunity for you who want to develop your knowledge and skill and be more ready to start your business. Register now here!

“DEP helped me believe in my idea more. The program is very well designed and structured, which made the overwhelming learning process more manageable and smooth. Also, the weekly meetings are a great idea to be exposed to what other entrepreneurs are trying to solve, which I consider an eye-opener and a creativity stimulator.” – Yara Bou Akar, DEP participant

“Participating in the DEP program was an eye-opening experience for me. Although I come from a business studies background, I enjoyed the program entirely. The interactivity, expert speakers, weekly virtual meeting, and superior support of the team of Forward.Inc gave me a strong intention and the challenge to go through. The DEP program helped organize my ideas and got me on the right track to achieving my entrepreneurial dream.” – Ahmed Almalmi, DEP participant, a newcomer from Yemen in The Netherlands.

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