Section: Return

A programme which provides capital and technical support for migrants to successfully pursue entrepreneurial ventures in their home countries. This type of support increases the likelihood of successful reintegration.

Case study

The Fondo concursable ‘El Cucayo’ is a competitive matching fund programme that supports Ecuadorian migrant returnees to start or expand their businesses. The programme targets entrepreneurs across a range of sectors, including tourism, manufacturing, fishing, forestry, animal husbandry, education, construction, and personal, social and community services. The programme is open to recently returned Ecuadorian citizens who have stayed abroad for at least one year, who have returned since 2007, who have not been in Ecuador for more than 60 days, who do not have legal issues, and who have some financial capital. Eligible entrepreneurs respond to a call for proposals and submit business ideas online. Those whose proposals are selected benefit from direct mentoring, training and referral to public banking institutions, where they can access lines of credit. The fund offers the following financing options: (a) a 50–50 arrangement (the entrepreneur and SENAMI each contribute 50 per cent to the project; the project cost should be 50,000 US dollars maximum for collective business projects, or 2,500 US dollars for individual or family businesses); (b) a 25–75 per cent arrangement (the entrepreneur finances 75 per cent of the project and SENAMI 25 per cent; the project’s cost is fixed at 15,000 US dollars for individual and family businesses and 50,000 US dollars for associative business projects that involve at least five individuals, at least two of whom are migrants).

Other examples
Assessment of impact and reach

127 sources of employment had been generated as of 2013.

Cost per beneficiary
Alignment with policy

Design. [P1] Focuses on the need of returnees to find and engage in income generation. [P3] Supports the aspiration of returnees who want to start businesses.

Programme. [P8] Assists migrants who are returning to Ecuador.

  • Lack of monitoring and control of the beneficiaries of the ‘El Cucayo’ programme, 137 of whom could later not be found.
Lessons learned
  • Lack of control triggered corruption in management of the project.
  • Important to undertake a better assessment of the requirements and conditions under which the programme is going to be deployed.
  • As a part of the drafting of these projects it is important to state that the project will be overseen by a controlling entity that will hold authorities and beneficiaries accountable for the funds provided.
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