Originally from Afghanistan

Owner of a Sushi Restaurant, Italy

Ahmad's Story

I am not interested in making a lot of money quickly; I like having my own project and working hard to get to where I want to be every single day.  Currently, I am managing my own sushi bar in Rome, and I am preparing to open a bigger sushi restaurant soon.

When I arrived in Italy, I lived in a SPRAR reception centre for about a year with my wife. The SPRAR staff was very helpful in answering my many questions and supporting my integration process. At the centre, I met Emanuele, who helped me understand the Italian bureaucratic system. It was my dream to set up my own business, so I attended several finance and entrepreneurship courses; this led to me owning my own sushi restaurant.

It really would be much easier to start a business in Italy if the information and services would be administered by a single authority, rather than being fragmented in many different offices. Also, it is very difficult foreigners holding a renewable permit to stay to get a loan from the bank. I therefore had trouble loaning money from the bank. But luckily I had help from Emanuele. He gave me so much support to organise all of the official legal documents to submit a business plan and helped me to set up a small company with other partners who are now involved in my business.

“I learned that the path to opening a business was not easy, but luckily I had help from Emanuele.”

I put all of my time and effort into establishing my own business in Italy and I hope that in the future, Italian institutions see me as an entrepreneur who can contribute to the country, rather of considering me as a foreigner. I am very grateful, as Italy is a very good country to live in; you really do not need many things here in order to have a happy life. In my opinion there are only two things that could be changed for the better: I believe there should be more general trust in foreigners’ abilities and the information that is provided should be more consistent. I am of the opinion that Italy should value migrants who want to work and those who want to establish their own companies.

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