‘Refugee entrepreneurship’ can lead the way to fresh beginnings


World Refugee Day is an international day observed every year on June 20 by the United Nations. Basically, the aim is to take notice and honour refugees from all over the world. The day was first observed on June 20, 2001 – to recognize the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Actually, World Refugee Day is an opportunity to promote empathy and understanding for the plight of refugees, plus to recognize their courage in restoring their lives.

The goal of World Refugee Day is to raise awareness of the problem and demonstrate to refugees that by working together, we can resolve the crisis and assist displaced people in finding secure and happy homes.

The theme this year is – “Home away from home. A world where refugees are always included.”

This year, World Refugee Day emphasizes the value of inclusion and refugee solutions. And, the best way to assist refugees in resuming their lives and enable them to contribute to the nations hosting them is – to include them in communities where they have discovered sanctuary (after escaping violence and persecution). When circumstances allow people to do so securely and freely, it would also be the ideal method to get them ready to return home and rebuild their nations, or to prosper if they are relocated to another one.

Understanding ‘refugee entrepreneurship’

What does it take to be an entrepreneur? A number of things. Resilience, creativity, adaptability and a willingness to stay with it when the going gets tough. At the same time, these are also skills that refugees naturally develop – when they are forcibly displaced and when they have to seek refuge and opportunities in host societies.

Additionally, for an entrepreneur more than demonstrating the right skill sets, it also means getting funds and having access to capital. Unfortunately, this critical factor is less common amongst refugees. Due to the nature of forcible displacement, refugees often find themselves without access to savings, important assets and networks of friends and family that so many entrepreneurs fall back on.

On a positive note, Refugee Entrepreneurs are indeed, mapping ecosystems to overcome the barriers – as in Europe.

Supporting entrepreneurship among migrants and refugees is an effective way to include them in local economies. Most often, refugee and migrant entrepreneurs focus on sectors with low entry requirements, where they can provide value, based on their cultural background or experience of resettlement.

In fact, the long-term impact of COVID-19 is expected to intensify the vulnerability of some of the 25.9 million refugees worldwide. And, the livelihoods of millions are in danger since many rely on their daily incomes.

So, entrepreneurship seems to be the way forward….

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