19Jan

ONE YEAR LATER: Entrepreneurship In Exile Insights into Syrian Refugees Startups – Turkey

A year ago, I published the Entrepreneurship in Exile study was published to focuses on Syrian entrepreneurs who were forced to leave Syria and become immigrants and refugees in host countries. Built on data from a study examining Syrian entrepreneurs’ views and experiences over 12 months of research, during which 156 interviews were conducted and ten open discussions as well as a series of interviews with entrepreneurial experts. Year after, I wanted to do a revisit on the report and examine the main challenges that faced the entrepreneurs and see what this year has reflected on the Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Read the full study

Turkey has the highest number of Syrian refugees of any single nation, two-thirds of the entire Syrian refugee community worldwide, with some three million people registered under “temporary protection.” The Government of Turkey announced spending over $30 billion on assistance for Syrian refugees.

Alongside the effort of hosting the refugee’s community, a surprising and powerful trend has emerged. A total of 10,000 new Syrian companies were founded in Turkey since 2011, up from only 157 in 2012.

Last year hold many changes for the Syrian refugees in the country. During July and August of the year 2019, Syrian refugees, nonetheless refugees entrepreneurs, have faced campaigns of deportation and arbitrary arrests concentrated in Istanbul. Those actions targeted people who do not hold the temporary residence card called “Kimmelk” in Turkey or those who have a card issued by a state other than Istanbul.

This has separated many startups from their team and is located on the central hub of startup innovation city – Istanbul, the home of the majority of Turkish accelerators, incubators, venture capitals, and conferences, many business owners continue to be concerned about their long-term status in the country. Which made Trave Restrictions, Social Exclusion and Uncertain Future challenges (As elaborated in Entrepreneurs in Exil report) have become harder on the startups during 2019.

The previous laws and actions come at a time of increasing public resentment toward the Syrians presence in the country. In a poll conducted earlier this year, 68% of Turkish respondents expressed discontent with the Syrian presence, compared to 58% in 2016. Meanwhile, the increases in consumer prices have affected the cost of living for the refugees in Turkey, making life is much harder. Besides, issuing the Government of Turkey new decisions to stop providing free medical services to Syrian refugees.

Last year also hold improvement on some on some of the challenges Complex Regulatory Policies, Banking, and Faincail Services Limitation, Language And Cultural Barriers, and Psycho-social Background & Trauma. See chart below

THE AVERAGE TOP REFUGEES’ STARTUP CHALLENGES IN TURKEY ON BOTH 2018 AND 2019.
Epreneurship in Exile
14Jan

ONE YEAR LATER: Entrepreneurship In Exile Insights into Syrian Refugees Startups – Jordan

A year ago, I published the Entrepreneurship in Exile study was published to focuses on Syrian entrepreneurs who were forced to leave Syria and become immigrants and refugees in host countries. Built on data from a study examining Syrian entrepreneurs’ views and experiences over 12 months of research, during which 156 interviews were conducted and ten open discussions as well as a series of interviews with entrepreneurial experts. Year after, I wanted to do a revisit on the report and examine the main challenges that faced the entrepreneurs and see what this year has reflected on the Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Read the full study

The Jordan Compact was game-changing to turn the refugee crisis into an economic opportunity by focusing on labor market reform, boosting trade, and attracting investment. The Compact crowded in concessional financings and beyond-aid incentives, like trade concessions that relaxed rules of origin (ROO) to export to Europe, to support inclusive growth for Jordanians and Syrian refugees alike.

The government has taken many steps to allow the refugees in camps like Zaatari to register home-based businesses in all sectors. Furthermore, grantee the Syrians who are living outside the camps the right to register home-based businesses in only the food processing, handicrafts, and tailoring sectors while maintaining 100 percent ownership. However, between January 1, 2016, and March 31, 2019, only 139,002 work permits were awarded, and currently, 38,000 refugees have active permits.

During last year, Jordan has collaborated with the international community, including the European Union and the World Bank, to strengthen the self-reliance of refugees and host communities, which includes training programs and support for creating job opportunities for Syrian refugees. The deal has allowed the country to access grants and financing package.

Jordan’s Startup ecosystem observe many improvements in the past years, especially in 2019 Jordan, implemented critical economic reforms. For the first time, Jordan has been selected among the top 3 business climate improvers by jumping an unprecedented from 29 ranks in the 2020 Doing Business rankings, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 report. Moreover, Jordan is a host to various incubators and accelerators and is one of the region’s most giant magnets of venture capital and equity funds.

Syrian refugee entrepreneurs benefited from those improvements and support as several new entrepreneurial programs have been established, focusing on small business and startup advancements and training. 

Through examing the challenges facing the Syrian entrepreneurs living in Jordan, the finding indicated a slight improvement. Banking and financial services limitations and Psycho-social Background & Trauma have been easied. While in contrast, challenges social exclusion and complex regulatory policies have become much harder. Travel Restrictions and are still the number one challenge for the Syrian refugees in Jordan.  

THE AVERAGE TOP REFUGEES’ STARTUP CHALLENGES IN Jordan ON BOTH 2018 AND 2019
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN EXILE
7Jan

ONE YEAR LATER: Entrepreneurship In Exile Insights into Syrian Refugees Startups – Lebanon

A year ago, I published the Entrepreneurship in Exile study was published to focuses on Syrian entrepreneurs who were forced to leave Syria and become immigrants and refugees in host countries. Built on data from a study examining Syrian entrepreneurs’ views and experiences over 12 months of research, during which 156 interviews were conducted and ten open discussions as well as a series of interviews with entrepreneurial experts. Year after, I wanted to do a revisit on the report and examine the main challenges that faced the entrepreneurs and see what this year has reflected on the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Read the full study

Lebanon has a long history of protracted economic crises. The country of 10,452 square kilometers has a population of nearly 6.5 million people, including almost one million Syrian refugees. The long-standing gap Solutions have indeed been put forward by successive governments, but they have done little to bridge that gap in the market. Lebanon needs to create six times more jobs than it currently does to accommodate the 23,000 people who join the waiting list every year. 1 Read More »

3Dec

Is e-work the solution to the refugees employment crisis?

Opportunities for refugees to work remotely are mostly centered around the tech sector. Most opportunities that are available are in e-commerce, programming, software and mobile app development, digital marketing, graphic design, translation, and data analysis. Refugees have also been employed remotely in nontechnical sectors such as online tutoring and translation. 

This type of job, which remains widely untapped, provides one more option and a positive advantage for young refugees who have just finished their studies and are looking for their first experience. It allows them to work as contractors or freelancers on a project basis. Online work provides flexibility and can introduce one to new clients from anywhere in the world, opening up new possibilities depending on the field of expertise.

In Lebanon and Jordan, Syrian refugees only have the right to work and acquire work permits in limited sectors (for example, agriculture and construction). In Turkey, while Syrian refugees are allowed to work in any sector, employment is restricted by a quota set by the government (one Syrian for every ten Turks). According to “An Examination of Remote Work for Refugees” report.
Read More »

4May

Despite The Struggles, Many Syrian Refugees Started their Own Businesses in Exile

.

Syrian entrepreneurs, like the wider population of Syria, have fled the country to seek sanctuary around the world. Having taken their ideas and ambitions with them, they have met with mixed success in their new homes. Some have managed to create new startups and thrive in innovation-friendly environments, while others have grappled with a range of challenges that make it harder for small and medium-sized enterprises to get off the ground.

In my recent book “Entrepreneurship in Exile” which examed hundred Syrian refugees entrepreneurs’ views and experiences. I have heard direct from founder from Turkey to Jordan, Germany, and Canada, we heard about the people who took a step and made a decision. They left behind a country, a home, a memory, and took their journey to the unknown. They settled in their new home, started a business, became employers and contributed to the local economy.

The results were incredible, despite the severe conditions in which refugees and immigrants live, they have shown incredible strength and resilience. Many have worked hard to achieve their ambitions, becoming a refugee and immigrant entrepreneur.

Read More »

20Nov

Why You Should Read Entrepreneurship In Exile Book

.

In a time when refugees are frequently debated in the news as a problem, it is easy to forget the hardship they had been through. Having escaped destruction, traumas, and even death, they arrive at their host countries with determination to make the most of their new home.

Over almost a decade of the refugee crisis, refugees have shown extraordinary strength and admirable resilience. Many have gone on to achieve their ambition in becoming entrepreneurs, though often referred to with the prefix ‘refugee’ or ‘immigrant,’ and boast far higher entrepreneurship rates than the original population where they settled.

Given that the act of choosing (when choice is possible) and moving to another country is an inherently brave and risky decision, it should be of no surprise that refugees and immigrants have repeatedly been found to be more entrepreneurial than locals. Those people are hungry to make it work. The desire has more to do with a will to win and less to do with a percentage game. For them, it is a survival game.

Dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis is a huge challenge, and it should involve people from both host and refugee communities working together to create more significant opportunities.

Supporting this group can yield substantial social and economic dividends for host countries. From Turkey to Jordan, Germany, and Canada, we heard about the people who took a step and made a decision. They left behind a country, a home, a memory, and took their journey to the unknown. They settled in their new home, started a business, became employers and contributed to the local economy.

This report, Entrepreneurship in Exile, demonstrates why any debate about refugees should be conducted with an eye on what refugees can contribute to the local society and economy of the host country. It provides a stark reminder that, given the right circumstances, Syrian refugees are ready to integrate and start a new life.

The book built on data from a study examining Syrian entrepreneurs’ views and experiences over a period of 12 months of research, during which 156 interviews were conducted and ten open discussions as well as a series of interviews with entrepreneurial experts to spot the light on the Syrian business in host countries, the challenges it faces, the potential it has and the uncertain future that lies ahead. It provides a stark reminder that, given the right circumstances, refugees can contribute to the local society and economy of the host country.

Pre-order for free here if you want to be the first to get your hands on a copy >> https://goo.gl/forms/9WU0LijDZXituY6v2

8Jul

Common Mistakes Why You Fail To Raise Money (And What Can You Do About It)

During my work with more than 350 Startup Weekend events in the Middle East and Africa, I have realized that it is always down to those 6 common mistakes why some community and startup events fail to raise money. Here are the most common mistakes, and what can do you do about it: 

1) Setting A High Budget

SOLUTION: If you are planning to raise $10K, ask yourself, can you revise your plan to accomplish the same with $7K? Most of the time, organizers ask for arbitrary round numbers like $10K or $15K instead of the actual amount of money needed to achieve specific milestones.

Think about what can you cut. Work to re-budget. Spend a little bit less on marketing. Cancel your fancy T-shirt and video producing.

Be creative how you can spend the money productively. Spend time polishing your budget forecast, so that you can confidently tell sponsors why you are only looking for $7K, and why you know, you can achieve high quality with less capital.

Read More »

© 2010 - 2020 Ahmad Sufian Bayram Blog | Creative Commons (BY-SA 3.0) Some rights reserved