The Urban Diversity project addresses the issues of migrant entrepreneurship, creativity and cross-border cooperation.
The project is based on the assumption that migrant entrepreneurs live and work in both cities, Ljubljana and Graz. Although the cities offer them some programmes of incentives and assistance, they still face administrative, legal and social obstacles that hamper their work and everyday activities.
The purpose of the Urban Diversity project is to acquire knowledge to create concrete instruments and strategies aimed at developing creativity, promoting performance of small and medium-sized companies and supporting active participation and empowerment of migrant entrepreneurs. To this end, the transnational communication platforms will be established as well as creative environments, which will promote cooperation between migrant entrepreneurs, creatives, local authorities and residents of both cities. All project activities strive to promote the political, economic and social equality of migrant entrepreneurs and their active involvement in all spheres of social life and creative production. Special emphasis is given on education and acquisition of specific skills, knowledge, new business ties and opportunities.
The project creates a positive promotion in a society that leads to a more tolerant attitude of the local inhabitants towards the migrant entrepreneurs, fosters their integration into society and prevents alienation, marginalisation and isolation. In the long run, however, it leads to a greater cohesion in both cities, a greater economic competitiveness of the region and its openness to the world.
ZRC SAZU is one of the leading research and educational centres in Slovenia and wider. Its mission is a responsible and critical research work, the creation of high quality and innovative results and their transfer to the educational system, economy and society. ZRC SAZU has been involved in many national and international projects, within which it deals with topics such as migration, migrant entrepreneurship, integration, multiculturalism and diversity.
The Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region connects 26 municipalities in the central Slovenia, in which it supports sustainably oriented business, infrastructural, social, cultural and creative activities. With the aim to support creative activities and to introduce the creativity in the public and private sector, the Agency established the Regional Centre for Creative Economy (RCKE). Thus, the Agency promotes the development of a creative, innovative and internationally competitive environment.
The Department for the Development of Economy and Tourism of the City of Graz gives special attention to migration and economy and has established a good relationship with the organisations and institutions that operate in the field of migrations. It also has rich practical experience in those fields; namely, it organised several roundtables and individual interviews. In addition, the department fully supports the creativity and creative economy, both financially and non-financially.
The educational institution St Martin supports social diversity through its heterogeneous offer for different target groups. It puts ethnic cultural diversity in the forefront and organises various events, interactive lectures and presentations. In addition, St Martin also maintains excellent contacts with famous artists from the creative scene and offers them space for exhibitions and events.