Entry Hub - A network driven cooperative model for smarter integration into the labour market

The Vision


To empower inhabitants and networks in the local community as designers and performers of interventions
leading to an increasing share of immigrants born outside of Europe contributing with their competence on the labour market and to higher socioeconomic sustainability in their local areas.

The Pilot Model: Entry Hub

  • A physical location that enables interactions with networks and employers relevant to the individual

  • Is designed and driven by networks with high credibility in the local community

  • Activities are designed in collaboration with actors in the labour market

  • Empowers the individual to activate, utilize, and develop her/his skills from day one 

  • Gives employers access to new competence

The Pre-Study behind Entry Hub


In 2015/2016, our pre-study ”The empowerment of minority driven networks as catalysts
for growth in the Stockholm region” was one of 22 initiatives granted a social innovation
sponsorship from VINNOVA (Swedish government agency working under the Ministry of
Enterprise and Innovation). A total of 407 projects applied.


The motivation for the grant was as follows (our translation): ”Innovative model where the
networking is at the core of the innovation. Broad, national collaborational model.
Satisfying context analysis with an expressed opportunity to learn from resembling
initiatives in Canada. VINNOVA particularly emphasizes the ambition to involve the target
group in identifying the needs and implement the idea.


Dialog forums were organized where participants from Syria, Iran, Somalia, Eritrea,
Colombia and Chile participated in the design of a a new collaborative model based on their
own experiences from settling in Sweden in different time periods. Special attention was
dedicated to the opportunities and challenges of networks.


Stakeholders from the private, public and non-profit sector and insights from national and
international research as well as best practices contributed to the design of the model. 

Results from the Pre-Study: Three Key Challenges for Smarter Integration into the Labour Market


  • Lack of coordination and collaboration between stakeholders

  • Absence of physical meeting points for continuous interaction with key actors on the labour market

  • Deficient access to relevant tools and networks that can strengthen the individual settlement process from day one

Current Process


  • With renewed support from VINNOVA (on the theme Challenge-driven innovation step 1 – Sustainable, attractive cities) and Tillväxtverket (models for easier paths to employment), the model is further developed during 2016/2017 in the project ”Entry Hub - A network driven cooperative model for smarter integration into the labour market”.

  • VINNOVA stated in the motivation that ”the solution is evaluated as having high potential, which is strengthened by a solid context analysis” and that ”the user driven approach is considered a key factor”. The decision is further motivated by the ambition to reach women to a higher extent than previous interventions targeting foreign-born have succeeded to achieve.

  • The goal for the current phase is to refine the model in order to pilot and evaluate it as physical Entry Hubs in Umeå (the biggest city in Northern Sweden) and Stockholm (the capital).

  • Sponsors and partners in this phase are the global recruitment and HR service company Randstad, the newcomer center Umebygdens Etableringscentrum and the trade union Unionen.

  • We Link Sweden is the Swedish representative in a global network for knowledge exchange between countries regarding migration, inclusion and diversity, initiated by Ryerson University in Canada.




  • Sweden, a country with an ageing population, needs to take advantage of the potential among the foreign-born, a group with a lower average age and unique competence needed for innovation and growth.

  • Inhabitants born outside of Europe, appr. 9% in total and with the highest prevalence in the cities, are a necessary asset on the labour market but represent 47% of registered unemployed. The unemployement is particularly high among the women.

  • High unemployment rates leads to socioeconomic vulnerability in Swedish cities and high costs for both the society and the individual, short- and long-term.

  • Research and evaluations of previous interventions indicate several defects in the Swedish reception of foreign-born.

  • Recommendations include more personalized services, a logical consistency throughout the process, and an increased focus on local needs.

  • Studies also underline the central importance of networks for integration in the labour market and the fact that foreign-born in particuar are lacking that resource. In Canada, networks driven by individuals with previous experience of settling in the country have proven to have a positive effect on the settlement of newly arrived immigrants.​​



Hugo Ortíz Dubón, We Link Sweden

Email: hugo@welinksweden.se

Tel: 072-919 04 03

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Hugo Ortiz Dubon

Email: hugo@welinksweden.se

Tel: +46 (0) 72 919 04 03


Minna Levin

Email: minna@welinksweden.se

Tel: +46 (0) 70 249 79 07

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