In 2018 the Foundation supported the UK’s Centre for Entrepreneurs to publish its report on refugee entrepreneurs, Starting Afresh; to undertake a campaign to raise awareness of the report with government ministers, other opinion-formers and the public; and to launch the Refugee Entrepreneurship Network to convene public, private and third sector bodies to work towards implementing the report’s recommendations.
These activities culminated in the inaugural Global Refugee Entrepreneurship Summit in November 2018, hosted at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Summit convened refugee entrepreneurship programmes from 20 countries and four continents, alongside leading investors, philanthropists, academics and policy-makers.
The objective of this work is to challenge negative public opinion on refugees; highlight refugees’ entrepreneurial potential; celebrate successful case studies; and identify how tailored entrepreneurship support can be made available to refugees as they arrive and settle in the UK and elsewhere.
In the UK, the Centre has rallied the support of the Home Office, Social Finance and Big Lottery Fund to help 90 refugees to take part in entrepreneurship pilot programmes, which in turn will create the evidence base to roll out programmes nationwide.