Immigrants in Estación Central struggle to gain acceptance in the city and are often shut out of opportunities that would help them improve their lives. Ignorance of what immigrants have to offer discourages public support for business and educational services that would enable this vulnerable population to better help themselves. As a result, many immigrants end up returning to their home countries, often in worse conditions than when they left.
Tackling one of the most pressing issues cities face globally, the city will match immigrants who want to start new businesses with technical assistance, office space, and local entrepreneurs looking to launch a start-up. Estación Central will use both a digital platform and co-working space so immigrants can share business ideas and receive the training they need to bring the idea to fruition.
This project came from a desire to improve the quality of life for immigrants through acceptance and integration. Program participants would have access to opportunity to improve their financial situation while starting a business, and the platform will also create a bigger network of contacts and support in case of emergencies. This approach reflects Estación Central’s guiding goal of making it possible for immigrants to be both economically and socially welcomed into their community.
“We have a problem; we invite immigrants to our house but we don’t open the doors. We must include them, accept them, and help them join our community. Many of them are potential entrepreneurs and people with great aspirations. Their choice to live in Estación Central could be as valuable as being born here.”