Hopeful immigrant entrepreneurs now have a fallback in the form of a unique model support program for those needing some business survival skills.
"As lawmakers in Washington work out an overhaul of the immigration system, a Michigan-based social and economic services agency has launched a comprehensive program to help immigrants open or expand businesses.
Dearborn-based ACCESS recently held a graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of its Immigrant Entrepreneur Development Program. It's one of several immigrant- and refugee-focused efforts in the organization's new Growth Center division...
Dijana Bucalo, a former Bosnian refugee who settled in the Detroit enclave of Hamtramck, is a self-described "clothing artist" with a fashion design and costume-making shop in the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit in the city's Midtown neighborhood. She came to the United States in 1996 after war in her homeland – knowing no English but with experience as a fashion designer.
Still, she took a job far from her preferred field. Bucalo became a real estate agent and said she was successful at it until the housing market tanked a few years ago.
"I should be thankful the economy went bad," she said. "It helped me to think more seriously about my business, my skills and my trade."