At the European Union Parliament where I had the pleasure to discuss how we can leverage the Syrian refugee’s entrepreneurs to support the local economy at the host countries and share some of the work, I have been done from Entrepreneurs in Exile book.
I was placed to be in Paris speaking at the conference on the Role of the Private Sector in the Economic Integration of Refugees co-hosted by the World Bank European Investment Bank and Dansk Industri – DI
The discussion was focused on the role of the private sector in economic integration and be employed, and supported as entrepreneurs. Practitioners then encouraged to draft a charter of good practices around
1) INTEGRATION: on entrepreneurship development programs; they should be supported alongside host community entrepreneurship ecosystems.
2) LEGALIZATION: promoting a simplified legal and regulatory environment that can help refugees navigate business formalities and optimize the administrative environment.
3) EDUCATION: entrepreneurship skills training for refugees and soft skills advancement programs of the host community to the extent possible.
4) CAPITALIZATION: Refugee-related entrepreneurship financing and encourage and support the financing needs of refugee entrepreneurs.
5) CONNECTION: build a stronger emphasis on networking, mentorship, and linkages with host-community business, as well as with diaspora support networks.
Rebuilding Futures: Empowering youth and entrepreneurs in fragile states – SPARK Ignite Conference 2017
One can further point to the key difficulties of transferring money in order to support refugee entrepreneurship. However, blockchain technology emerged as a solution to this problem. Essentially, Blockchain is an open, or decentralized database containing records which are linked and secured through cryptography.
Blockchains are also seen as a means of creating a digital form of identification and eliminating the need for a traditional financial institution to “mediate transactions.”
What happened in the Jordan setup, they distributed Blockchain vouchers for the community of refugees in order to let those people buy groceries and they were able to track the groceries and limit it to exclude alcohol or cigarettes out of this, so Blockchain can help the refugees and offers government and businesses the opportunity to better understand the refugees, provide a solution that better fits everyone and start-ups can take this role to make sure this is happening.
Technological innovations are reshaping the lives of everyone around the world, including refugee communities. Entrepreneurship can lead to resolving many of the refugees’ problems and opening the doors for new opportunities. So far, very few people are taking the initiative to infuse a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within the refugees’ crisis. All of this made it a real pleasure to host the “Techfugees Summit – Tech Entrepreneurship for Refugees & displaced” dialogue, and hear the stories of those who are innovating and leading the way to see things from their perspective and work to inspire those with great potentials.
StartupWeek Lagos was super exciting and full of learnings on the African ecosystem in general and Nigerian in particular. I was so happy to get to spend time with +1000 Nigerian entrepreneurs during SWLagos those people rock!
The Nigerian stratup ecosystem is a very promising one thanks to the hardworking entrepreneurs who are turning the city of Lagos to an entrepreneurial hub
The summit brought together the top startup community leaders from Europe to build ideas, discuss future visions, share experiences, and strengthen the startup community builders network across the continent. During the Techstars Europe Summit, attendees explored the local startup ecosystem, learning from leaders immersed in what the local community is doing.
During my time in Beirut, I was happy to be a part of the New Arab Woman Forum (NAWF) panel to talk about our work at Techstars to impress diversity among our programs.
The New Arab Woman Forum works towards empowering a new generation of Arab women entrepreneurs while bringing women status to light in the region.
Last year, we announced our diversity commitment and we’re working hard to increase the number of women in our applicant pool and across our mentor network. We are also taking steps towards increasing the number of underrepresented minorities across all of our programs. We have added women to our selection committees and are publishing our diversity data annually.
Our female participation at Startup Weekend increased from 19% to 22% last year, and we’re working to increase it to +25% this year