Module 5: Start a Business (html version)

Our project

Sustainable development for the inclusion of migrating and refugee populations can only be attained if women are involved, as mothers, as teachers, as entrepreneurs and/or when a gender sensitive policy environment is created for them to influence community and social policies at the higher level. Women are the primary victims of the intertwined causes of conflicts, underdevelopment and migration. To address these issues, in a sustainable and humanitarian way, migrants should be offered assistance in building a new life in the respective host countries by developing, testing and implement new concepts of train the trainer programs for online training offering migrant women the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills. That is the aim of the 241 project.

01 Introduction

For a small amount per year you can start up and maintain your own business and make money with your talents.

By using our learning infrastructure and the internet, you can even do it together with a relative, friend or business partner from your country of origin.

You only need a Golden Idea and the persistence to make it real. We will guide you step by step.


  1. Identify who your role models are. 

Can you think of a person who has a successful business ánd a happy life? 

  1. Identify who could be your mentors. 

Do you have experienced people around you who could share their experiences with you?

02 Your Golden Idea

A successful entrepreneur can describe her idea in multiple ways. You need a few keywords. 

Using those keywords you tell your idea like a story, adapted to your listener: 

  1. Family and friends
  2. Potential customers
  3. Investors and Financial institutes
  4. Your intimate partner

Your Idea in a story

Your story:

  1. has an attractive opening
  2. shows your passion
  3. ends with a question
  4. is a clear explanation of your product or service
  5. is compact and easily understood


Make 4 movies (with a smartphone) of approximately 1 or 2 minutes per movie with your presentation of your business idea in 4 different ways

  1. how you would tell it to your family or friends
  2. how you would tell it to the bank
  3. how you would tell it to a potential customer
  4. how you would tell it to your life partner or best friend

03 Legal structure

Your Legal Business Structure

When you have clarity on your idea, you can choose the structure of your company:

the vehicle for your idea. 

Explore the possibilities through five questions and answers.

Overview of Legal Structures in the Netherlands

  • Single Person Business:
  • Legal Partnership:
    Vennootschap onder Firma (VOF)
    Commanditaire Vennootschap (CV) Maatschap
  • Limited Liability Companies:
    Besloten Vennootschap (BV),
    Naamloze Vennootschap (NV)
  • Cooperative Corporation

Overview of Legal Structures in Greece

  • Single Person Business
    Idiotiki Kefaleouhiki Eteria (IKE)
  • Legal Partnership
    Omórithmi Etería (O.E)
    Eterórithmi Etería (E.E)
  • Limited Liability Companies
    Etería Periorisménis Efthínis (E.P.E)
    Anónimi Etería (A.E.)
  • Cooperative Corporation
    Kinonikí Sineteristikí Epihírisi (KOIN.S.EP)

Overview of Legal Structures in Italy

  • Single Person Business
    Ditta individual
    Libero professionista
  • Legal Partnership
    Società in nome collettivo (S.N.C.)
    Società in accomandita semplice (S.A.S)
  • Limited Liability Companies
    Società per azioni (S.p.A.)
    Società a responsabilità limitata (S.r.l/S.r.l.s)
  • Cooperative Corporation
    Società cooperative

Overview of Legal Structures in Spain

  • Single Person Business
    Sociedad Limitada Unipersonal Autónomo
  • Legal Partnership
    Sociedad Civil
    Sociedad Cooperativa
  • Limited Liability Companies
    Sociedad Anónima (SA)
    Sociedad Limitada (SL)

Questions to Ask yourself

  1. What are the risks for liabilities?
  2. How much revenue do you expect in the first year?
  3. Will you run the business yourself or with another person?
  4. Do you have idealistic or public goal?

Q1 . Liabilities

To see what your liabilities might be, you first look at your customers. Are they natural persons or businesses? 

Towards natural persons liability for damages is a bigger risk, because of their legal protection. If your customers are natural persons, who might get injured by your products/services, an insurance is advisable.

If your customers are mainly businesses, you can restrict liability with good contracts / general conditions. If the losses might be substantial you can take out insurance against personal liability.

If you set up your business as a Limited Liability Company or as a Cooperative, you – in principle – will not be personally liable for the debts of your business. 

As a single person’s business and as a partnership you can be personally held liable for the debts of your business. 

Q2 . Expected Revenues

In the Netherlands a simple rule is:

If you expect more than EUR 100,000.- in revenues in the first year, a limited liability company is fiscally more interesting than a single person’s company.

In Greece

SMEs form the backbone of the Greek ‘non-financial business economy’. In 2020, they accounted for 83.0% of overall employment and 56.7% of overall value added, substantially more than the EU averages of 65.2% and 53.0% respectively. SME productivity, defined as value added per person employed, was EUR 11 400, less than a third of the EU average of EUR 40 000.

Q3. Together under 1 name

Two or more persons or businesses can work together

  1. as shareholders in a Limited Liability Company
  2. as participants in a Cooperative

In these cases, third parties can only hold the entity liable for debts, not the persons individually.

If two or more persons work together under one name (not in a Limited Liability Company or Cooperative), this is deemed a Partnership

Third parties can hold all partners individually liable for debts of the Partnership. 

The partners can make an internal agreement to divide tasks and liabilities.

Q4. For profit or non-profit?

If your business has an  idealistic or public purpose and you are not aimed at making profits, you can start a Foundation or an Association. The main difference is that an Association has members and a Foundation only has a Board of Directors and no members. We will not go into these structures in this course.

If your business aims to make a profit, you can choose a single person’s company, a partnership, a cooperative, or a limited liability company.

In summary

Oftentimes, a single person’s company is suitable to start your business. 

Unless, if you want to start your business with two or more persons under the same name, or if you aim to have a public purpose.

Liability can be excluded by General Terms and Conditions or covered by an Insurance.

04 Step by step

  1. Make your Golden Idea clear and concise
  2. Choose a Legal Structure
  3. Register your company at the local Registrar of Companies and Tax Agency
  4. Check whether you need any permits
  5. Build a website / webshop
  6. Open a bank-, or PayPal account

Thank you very much for taking on the Course!!
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