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 Swedish
Photo of Bakri


My name is Bakri, I´m 36 years old and I´m a hairdresser. I have my own barbershop.

I came to Sweden 4 years ago. I have heard that you must pay a lot of taxes and to have an apartment to get your wife and kids to Sweden. My wife and my 2 kids are in Turkey waiting. I left my daughter when she was 9 months and now she is 5 years old. She doesn’t really know me.

I got a lot of help from my brother who have been living in Sweden for 8 years. I also got support from my friends. They lent me money.

I started working as a hairdresser when I was 18 in Syria. I came to Sweden 4 years ago. I worked at a barbershop in Ljusdal at the end of 2017. I was an employer for 7 months and I saved some money.

I thought that it was easy to start a business here as in Syria but it wasn´t. It was a lot of bureaucracy and I haven´t learnt the language. My brother and my friend from Sweden helped me a lot in the beginning. My Swedish friend called the chamber of commerce to talk to them when I got a rejection in my first application. And of course, I asked people who have companies and they told me about their experiences.

I have had my business for 2 years. My brother still helps me but not as much is in the first and I have an accountant.

- The most relevant skills and competence to perform your business successfully is:

  • A nice smile
  • You must be calm
  • To be social is more important than the haircut sometimes
  • You have to be polite
  • Flexible, open and good at what you do

You also need a lot of skills if you want to succeed. For example, you need:
The language is a key for success and networking. If you don´t speak Swedish, you have to know someone to help you all the time otherwise. You need to have a strong motivation and of course love what you do.