First report from SMAB project out

During the spring of 2022, the Erasmus+ project Smart Business for All have conducted case studies in Norway, Germany, Poland and Greece. They have interviewed both immigrants and people who seeks to support migrant entrepreneurs in the countries. Some of the findings in the report, is that there is potential for migrant entrepreneurs in the contries.

«The main challenges are discrimination, lack of language skills, bureaucracy, knowledge about
the local market, basic knowledge about starting a business, and support in form of funding and mentorship. SMAB will be able to tackle some of these issues in the next part of our project.», the conclusion says.

Read the full report

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The Class of 2022 has graduated!

It’s been 2 years of educating Peer Support Workers here at KBT Vocational School. Two years with a higher vocational education for peer supporters in Norway. We are so proud of the achievements of our students. And to be able to welcome new students in a couple of months!

Another milestone for KBT Vocational School

The second graduation ceremony at KBT Vocational School, is another milestone for us. A lot has happened the last year. We have moved. Not far, but to a floor with more space. We have started working with 2 Erasmus + projects. And we’ve been lucky enough to get to travel to both Germany and Denmark to meet others who have different kinds of education programmes for peer supporters.


International cooperate – finding new solutions in dementia care

The Erasmus+ project PIA (Peer Support Workers as an Innovative force in Advocacy in dementia care) seeks to make sustainable and competence enhancing services for persons with dementia. Peer Support Workers have become more common in health and welfare services in recent years. They are a resource to promote the user perspective, which contribute to better tailored services. Peer Support Workers may also strengthen the recovery orientation in the services.

In dementia care, however, Peer Support Workers are quite new. It has been tried, but until now not very successfully. The nature of dementia makes it difficult to use people with the diagnose as Peer Support Workers. In the PIA project, we therefore want to introduce former informal carers of people with dementia as Peer Support Workers. A pilot project in Trøndelag, Norway, shows promising preliminary results.

Photo of peer support worker Randi
Peer support worker Randi, holding a presentation. She is working at a pilot project in the municipalities Frøya and Indre Fosen. They are helping elders with dementia in theire every day life.

Differences between European countries

The PIA project comprises of participants from Italy, Romania, Greece and Norway. This gives us a good opportunity to compare the health care systems in these countries, in regard to how Peer Support Workers can fit in dementia care. Which possibilities exists in each country, and what can we learn from each other?

There are sosio-economic differences in the partner countries, also in systems and culture regarding taking care of our elders. Some are a result of economy. Norway for example, is a wealthy country compared to many others. That gives economical room to have a large public health care system. Even if more private services have emerged in the last decades, the public system is still robust. That helps to reducing social inequality.

In contradiction, countries like Greece have had economic difficulties in the last decades. So, how can we introduce Peer Support Workers in dementia care with these differences? Well, we have to start with dialogue and research, to identify both possibilities and challenges.

Photo of Ida Myran
Ida from Norway are presenting the web page for the PIA project.

Fruitful meeting in Trondheim

In May, the project partners in PIA gathered in Trondheim to kick-off the activities.  During the project period, the project group will have meetings in every participating country. The Trondheim meeting was the first, and the project group got to know each other a little better.

At the meeting, the project web page and management plan were presented. In addition, important question about the project were discussed. Because, as mentioned: we do have different starting points on the road to better health care for persons with dementia.

Photo of a woman at PIA meeting
We had a lot of interesting discussions at the PIA gathering
Women at PIA meeting (photo)
At the PIA meeting, we had participants from Greece, Italy, Romania and Norway
Photo of PIA meeting
Project members at the Trondheim meeting

Project partners

Project goals

  • Developing learning material and methods training peer supporters in dementia care
  • To develop strategies for policy. In PIA, they will find out how they can start national strategies for dementia, and open up the opportunity to use peer supporters
  • To develop a digital collaboration platform
  • Dissemination of knowledge of the results
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Happy people (photo)
I between the serious discussions, the project group also can have some fun
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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

How can we support migrant entrepreneurs in Norway? 

There is war in Europe, and Ukrainian refugees are fleeing to nearby European countries. Norway will be taking in new refugees. Hence, it is relevant to uncover how Norway is supporting migrant entrepreneurs. High employment is imperative for the Norwegian system to function. At the same time, there is good reason to believe that the newly arrived migrants want to work. Therefore, it is essential to provide people with relevant information about Norway, like information about start-ups.

Start-up facilitation and support exists in Norway, however, the support for non-Norwegian speakers differs based location. In other words, your experience in Trondheim and Kongsberg may differ.

Start-up courses in English  

In March 2022, Startup Migrant UG had a Preschool for entrepreneurs in Norway. Some of the Preschools in Norway are in Norwegian, others are in English, and last 3 days. The English intensive courses are the most popular according to the Co-founder Nicolai Strøm-Olsen. Why are entrepreneurs interested in these courses? Well, as a participant you will learn how to develop your ideas to a business idea, and how to succeed. 

KBT and KBT Vocational School are striving for social innovation and to empower marginalized groups. Therefore, KBT Vocational School became interested in the Preschool in Kongsberg. Another reason for the visit was the connection between the Preschools and the Erasmus + project Smart Business for All. In other words, we were there to learn how Startup Migrant work, and the entrepreneur situation in Norway.


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The new logo for the Erasmus + project Smart Business for All. Please check out our Facebook-page

Erasmus + Project Smart Business for All – SMAB 

KBT Vocational School is currently mapping out the situation for migrant entrepreneurs in Norway through the project SMAB. Additionally, to the vital information entrepreneurship in Norway, we also had the pleasure of building a better relationship with our project partner Startup Migrants, who has offices in both Berlin and Oslo. Even though KBT Vocational School came as observants, we also created connections with the participants.  

Principle Karl Johan Johansen and Educational Consultant Preben Hegland represented KBT Vocational School in Kongsberg. We had the privilege to experience an intensive course, which is targeting migrant entrepreneurs. Startup Migrant has a network in migrant European entrepreneurship, and hold similar intensive courses also in Germany, and Poland. During the visit we also had time to become better acquainted with SMAB partner Nicolai Strøm-Olsen and Startup Migrant’s Pira Thiru. 

KBT Vocational School’s representatives Karl Johan Johansen and Preben Hegland had the pleasure of meeting Nicolai Strøm-Olsen and Norway’s new entreprenuers.
(Foto: Pira Thiru)

Preschool – Connects entrepreneurs with different backgrounds 

Startup Migrants’ Preschools have become a meeting point for entrepreneurs with different passports and mother tongues. This is the result of the Preschool’s vision of a place for all who want to become an entrepreneur.    

As a participant in the Preschool, you gain access to real stories and advice from successful entrepreneurs with a Q & A afterwards. Further, the participants can connect with the said entrepreneurs and start networking in the field of entrepreneurship through Startup Migrant.  

Participants with different backgrounds 

The participants on this course came from countries around the world like Spain, India, Iran, and Afghanistan. Some had lived in Norway for about 15 years, while others had only been in Norway for a couple of months. Even though the knowledge of the Norwegian lifestyle varied, all the participants were eager to create a start-up in Norway.   

We at KBT Vocational School would like to thank Startup Migrant for inviting us to visit, and we are looking forward to future collaborations.  

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Social Justice for immigrants

KBT Vocational School wants to simplify the start-up process for immigrants

To celebrate the World Day of Social Justice on the 20th of February, KBT Vocational School has decided to share news of our European project named Smart Business for All.

Entrepreneurship demands idees and hard work, however, entrepreneurs also need knowledge of the country’s language and legal framework. In other words, starting a business is even more difficult for migrant entrepreneurs. However, how can we at KBT Vocational School be of an assistance in the European landscape of migrant start-ups?  Well, through the Erasmus + project Smart Business for All, this project aims to find new solutions for migrant entrepreneurs.

Smart Business for All’s goals:

  • Case studies about immigrants` need for training and facilitation
  • Development of an e-learning program which focus on immigrant entrepreneurs
  • Development of a web-based resource bank for said entrepreneurs
  • Facilitate immigrant start-ups for the green/ecological sector
  • Quality management and evaluation of activities and results (outcomes and impacts)

Case study about entrepreneurship

In the spring of 2022, KBT Vocational School with our European partners will create a case study, on the subject of migrant experience with start-ups. The goal is to develop a framework with vital information about migrants’ access to assistance and support in the start-phase of the start-up.  

This data will contain information about the partners country on national, regional and local level. KBT Vocational School will for example, use public data from SSB to identify the current situation in Norway.  

The project also entails focus groups with migrants’ entrepreneurs and migrant businesses. It is through focus groups that we will gain crucial information about the migrant entrepreneurs’ experience in Norway, Poland Germany, Spain, and Greece. The end result will be a report with information about what works and what needs to improve.  

KBT Vocational School is represented by Principal Karl Johan Johansen, and Preben Hegland.

KBT Vocational School’s partners:

KBT Vocational School’s aim with this project

KBT Vocational School wants to do its part in the inclusion of marginalized groups in society. The goal is to make it easier to create a business, even if you are living in a foreign country. The untapped knowledge and experience from migrants should be a resource for the community, which will also create a better connection between the local community and the migrants. The creation of a bond between the local society and its citizens is imperative for KBT Vocational School. In other words, the end goal is a good match with KBT Vocational School’s core values, which are based on Recovery, and the CHIME-model.

KBT Vocational School’s role

KBT Vocational School is responsible for this part of the project. This means that the end report will be delivered by KBT Vocational School. As the nucleus of the case studies assignment, KBT Vocational School will also provide our partners with templates and collecting data.  

The project has monthly meetings on Zoom with KBT Vocational School as the chairman of the meetings. In these online meetings, partners are given a space for questions and discussions. Additionally, to meetings, weekly communications also happen through the EU-platform ADINPROJECT.

Additionally, the project will have yearly physical meetings between the partners. The first meeting place for this European collaboration is Trondheim. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first meeting has been postponed, however, the lates news is that it may happen March.


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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

KBT Vocational School in Erasmus+ Project – Smart Business for all

This fall we got the message that KBT Vocational School and our partners got financial funding for our Erasmus+ project Smart Business For All. This project aims to give migrants tools to start their own businesses in their new country. In addition, we hope this could be a useful tool for other marginalized groups, such as persons with mental health and/or addiction problems. We will achieve our goals, by:  

  • Executing case studies of immigrants needs for training and facilitation 
  • Developing an e-learning program for immigrant entrepreneurs 
  • Developing a web-based resource bank 
  • Creating a Career KIT to facilitate immigrant start-ups  
  • Quality management and evaluation of activities and results 

Partners in the project 

The team in this project consists of organizations from Central Greece, Spain, Germany, Poland and Norway:  

Already we have had two project meetings, and are now working with the formalities and main frames for the project. 

As a part of the project, we will conduct case studies from each country that are representet in the project. We’re curious to find out what similarities and differences there can be around what kind of needs marginalized groups in different countries have. This work begins early in 2022.  

Each partner in the project have different main tasks, and we are exited to see what we can achieve together by the end of the project in 2023.  

Empowerment of the vulnerable 

With this project we want to create tools that can empower humans in a vulnerable situation. KBT Vocational School builds on a Recovery oriented mindset. According to the CHIME model, Empowerment is a factor in what gives people a meaningful life. Therefore this project is right in our alley.  

We also want to promote the entrepreneurial spirit, social inclusion, opportunity for profit and better living standards and more. We know that many migrants and other in marginalized groups have enormous resources, that may in some way be hard  to see for their (new) neighbours. Language, culture and social stigma may be factors that make it difficult to discover. With this project we hope we can break down some of this barriers.  

Background of the project 

The initiator of this project, is the Center for Education and Innovation in Greece. They’ve had an leading role in creating the application for this project. Now that we got the financial fundings for the project, KBT Vocational School will be the leading partner during the project.  

The project started as an initiative from InnoveED in Greece. Greece is the country in Europe that has the greatest challenges with immigrants and refugees. We have gradually been building up a partnership, and after a while we decided to apply for this project together.  

We are a strong team, and we aim to find some exciting and innovative solutions together.  

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.