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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
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.
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3Jan

Startup Ecosystem Canvas – Syria!

Understand Syria Startup Ecosystem in one, single image. Please share widely, with attribution, non-commercially.

The Startup Ecosystem Canvas – Syria! Seeks to provide a clear list of resources for every stage of the startup journey. Also, the canvas can represent a shared understanding of what the Syrian entrepreneurial environment is and allows a good perspective on the local level to exploit existing chances and, at the same time, to identify missing links.

The Startup Ecosystem Canvas model was developed by the Founder Institute, a business incubator, and entrepreneur training center. It outlines a framework for communities at every stage of their startup journey (idea, launch, and growth).

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