‘The asylum process broke my dream … now I have a new one.’ The refugee entrepreneurs

The Conversation covers the importance of refugee businesses and how they provide opportunities for those who often have employment doors closed.

Research shows that refugee businesses provide opportunities for those who find that the doors to employment are closed to them – even if they are well qualified for the jobs they apply for. In camps and resettled communities, refugee businesses become hubs providing vital information, support and resources that fellow refugees would struggle to access any other way.

Many of these initiatives began as grassroots support efforts and have grown to meet the demand for business support from refugees. More recently, philanthropic donors and government departments have funded pilot schemes to establish how best to understand the impact of refugee business support.

As a research lead for the Centre for Entrepreneurs (the organisation running a UK-wide Home Office backed pilot scheme) I have encountered a number of these initiatives and met a diverse array of refugee businessmen and women first hand. I have gathered their stories together for a paper which is under review. The people I interviewed were all inspirational in their own way and their accounts were deeply moving. They are stories of hardship and suffering. But, ultimately, they are about survival and hope.

Read the full article here