Everyday and business economics – a way to become part of society

How to start your own business? How does renting an apartment work? The PLOUTOS project aims to create good opportunities for people who come to a new country. Halmstad University's part of the project is about knowledge and skills in economics and financial services – to achieve financial independence.

A group of students in a class room.

From the first course within the project last winter.

”The goal is to create a sense of security in terms of financial and economic opportunities through practical applications.”

Ghazal Zalkat, project leader of PLOUTOS,

“Participants will gain a basic understanding of concepts and terms, as well as the practicalities of carrying out investments, transactions or opening a savings account. The goal is to create a sense of security in terms of financial and economic opportunities through practical applications,” says Ghazal Zalkat, PhD student in Innovation Science at Halmstad University and project manager of PLOUTOS, and emphasises:

”Everyone who comes to a new country needs this knowledge to create the best possible conditions for integration and inclusion.”

The second course

At the beginning of May, a PLOUTOS course in financial economics will start in collaboration with Economyaat and Business Incubator LEVEL in Malmö. The first course in the project, on financial and business skills, took place last winter.

Woman dressed in white and blue

Ghazal Zalkat is the project leader.

“It was very successful and appreciated. The response was fantastic, and there was a great group of 32 people that we had the privilege of training. There was a good mix of women and men, young and old,” says Ghazal Zalkat.

The aim of PLOUTOS is to create the best possible opportunities for people arriving in a new country to achieve economic independence in that country. The courses include everything from basic everyday economics to practical aspects of how to open a savings account, make an investment and what requirements exist and need to be dealt with, according to Ghazal Zalkat:

”What I like about this project is that this knowledge is always useful, whether you are starting a business, studying or already employed. Business ideas can come later and it's good to know how financial services work.”

Knowledge and experience

Ghazal Zalkat has personal experience of coming to Sweden as an immigrant:

”It was difficult for me to find my way into society, and it was very much up to me to find out what applies and how to proceed. There are national differences that you need to know and learn about, not least how it works in practice. There is a great need for the kind of training that the PLOUTOS project offers, and I can contribute with my experience and my network of contacts.”

PLOUTOS also contributes to the priorities of the EU's so-called Urban Agenda, in particular to the Partnership for the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees. The project aims to improve cities' innovation potential and investment. Statistics indicate that immigrants are more likely to start businesses and create job opportunities than locals, helping to tackle urban poverty.

”The long-term objective is that PLOUTOS increases the innovation potential of cities, creates jobs and thus contributes to reducing urban poverty and exclusion,” says Ghazal Zalkat.

Over time, PLOUTOS will also be studied by researchers at Halmstad University, contributing to research results.

The PLOUTOS project

PLOUTOS is an EU project funded by the European Commission, specifically the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), and will run from 2022 to 2025. At the European level, the project has eleven cooperation and project partners from seven different EU countries (Sweden, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Croatia).

The project is aimed at third-country nationals, i.e., people who have immigrated from a non-EU country.

The financial economics course starts on 5 May 2023. Halmstad University, together with Economyaat and Business Incubator LEVEL in Malmö, is offering a financial literacy course aimed at developing participants' financial and economic skills in Sweden.

Financial literacy course External link, opens in new window.

PLOUTOS at Halmstad University Opens in new window.

PLOUTOS – international project page External link, opens in new window.