Pilot projects to help refugees to set up businesses

Refugees are being offered help to set up businesses in a series of pilot projects.

In the Midlands, Staffordshire and Peterborough are running a series of schemes which will help refugees set up companies.

The pilot projects will run nationally - other initiatives will be based in Bristol, Belfast, Norwich and Ipswich.

They are part of a one-year programme paid for by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Home Office, overseen by the Centre for Entrepreneurs.

It is hoped the scheme will give refugees a chance to flourish in their new lives in the UK by turning their business ideas into reality.

The pilot will cost £360,300, of which £210,150 will be paid for by the Home Office. The remaining £150,150 by the lottery fund.

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce will help to provide advice for 40 refugees. ACH Bristol, formerly known as Ashley Community Housing will support 100 refugees, the Home Office said.

MENTA, which offers business support in Norfolk and Suffolk, is also taking part in the project.