Embarking on a new life with IOM's support
( IOM ) - Twenty-seven-year-old Tony decided to travel to the United States in search of better employment and economic opportunities for himself and his family.
Tony is one of the 20 persons who have benefited thus far from IOM assistance to develop a successful business plan. © IOM 2013
His trip north began in April 2012, but Tony never made it to his destination; he was intercepted and returned to El Salvador.
Back in his country after the failed attempt, Tony has decided to stay in El Salvador and open a pizza parlor. With IOM's assistance he developed a business plan and now his dream is beginning to take shape.
The IOM-managed project "Reintegration for Returned Migrants and Victims of Trafficking", which is funded by the Government of Canada and receives technical support from the Salvadorian Association for Financial Education (ASEFIN by its Spanish acronym), is helping returnees and victims of trafficking to develop business plans and become an entrepreneur.
So far IOM has assisted 20 persons, referred by the Government of El Salvador, either to develop a business plan and seed money to either set up a new business or support an existing one.
Alicia Navalón is the IOM Project Coordinator: "This socio-economic reintegration scheme is the incentive these returnees and victims of trafficking in persons need to make a go of it in their country of origin. It is a great employment opportunity for them and so they therefore leave aside the idea to venture on the dangerous irregular migration route."
The IOM project also provides advice and financial support for the purchase of equipment and other materials needed to start the business.
The development of the business plan includes not only the business concept and the drafting of the plan, it also takes into account the individual's skills to carry out market assessments, operate the business, face competition, knowledge of the products and services being considered, a start-up strategy and a budget.
Tony is counting on his skills and IOM's advice and support as the key tools to make his ensure his pizza parlor is a success.
"Having a business plan will help me to make the right decisions that will turn my pizza business into a long-term sustainable business," explains Tony confidently.
In the coming weeks, the 20 beneficiaries will participate in an IOM-organized workshop designed to support their personal development and entrepreneurship, as well as additional training in accounting and business acumen.
IOM's government partners include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Directorate of Migration, and the District Attorney's Office.