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How entrepreneurship is transforming the lives of resettled refugees

Jul 12, 2018

New report shines a light on the power of entrepreneurship for refugees

To say that refugees have it tough sounds like stating the obvious. Forced to flee their homes, enduring horrendous journeys across seas and continents, treated with suspicion and mistrust wherever they go...it’s not a barrel of laughs.

But, despite this, many refugees are doing some incredible things in their new countries. Rather than sinking under the weight of their experiences, they’re putting what they’ve learned along the way to good use and coming up with some seriously enterprising ideas.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs’ new report, ‘Starting Afresh’, reveals the entrepreneurial power of refugees, while offering advice for governments and businesses in helping these determined and motivated individuals to achieve their potential. It's a pretty positive piece of work.

The findings of the report shouldn’t really come as a surprise. After all, it takes quite an entrepreneurial spirit to achieve the tough and tortuous journey which most refugees have been through. To survive, they need motivation, persistence, confidence, and ingenuity – all qualities that will take you far in business!

Let’s not forget that some of the UK’s most prominent and successful businesses were founded by entrepreneurial refugees. Michael Marks, founder of Marks & Spencer, fled Russian pogroms (anti-Jewish riots) to Britain in the 19th century, as did Montague Burton of the Burton Group. Edin Bašić, who is profiled in the report, arrived in Britain in the 1990s as a refugee from war-torn Bosnia. He went on to create multi-million-pound pizza company Firezza.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs would like to see refugee entrepreneurship schemes rolled out across the country, and presents models for this in their report. It’s interesting and inspiring stuff! If you’d like to know more about the Centre for Entrepeneur’s ideas, you can download their report here.