What is Startup Refugees?

Startup Refugees is a network of companies, organizations, and professionals who support the employment and entrepreneurship of newcomers.

There are more refugees today than ever in the history of our planet. Catastrophes caused by climate change will speed up migration in the near future. Western societies are rapidly becoming multicultural, and in the meanwhile several other societal turning points are taking place. This is a fact, not a matter of opinion.

"Pampering the refugees must stop now."

Instead of putting capable newcomers aside in human-container-like refugee centers and making them passive beneficiaries, Startup Refugees immediately finds out the professional skills and experience of the refugees, matches it with local entrepreneurship, and creates jobs and new businesses. 

The results are impressive. In 2021, we have profiled the skills and professional goals of over 4500 newcomers all around Finland, offered nearly 1000 job opportunities, and supported at least 40 new businesses to be registered.

"Immigration can be a brain gain."

What if the reception centers would work as societies where different professional skills of the inhabitants would benefit the others? Startup Refugees involving reception center model works around free of charge micro-businesses such as barbershop, bakery, kindergarten, or tailor shop run by refugees. Meaningful work creates peace, stability, and equality. Participation empowers people and keeps their skills in use. 

"Worklife can continue in a reception center."

Startup Refugees steers newcomers towards independence by supporting their entrepreneurship and professionalism. Participating refugees are becoming taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and active members of society. By supporting the newcomers, we are also helping ourselves.

"Work empowers."

On the other hand, Startup Refugees supports its growing network of private companies and individuals in taking an active role in efficient integration. Everyone can do something to fix this common challenge.

"Startup Refugees is a counterforce for apathy."

Startup Refugees is a non-profit voluntary network supporting refugees with employment and entrepreneurship. It has created a low-cost model for fast-track employment and entrepreneurship for refugees.

Instead of the wait and bickering, Startup Refugees is actively searching for the potential of newcomers and matching it with relevant network members.

Startup Refugees in Finland

Startup Refugees in Finland consists of 1000 members, including companies, government officials, NGOs, universities, congregations, research institutes, communities and individuals who support newcomers with starting businesses and entering the Finnish labour market. Everyone is welcome to join the network, as long as they offer something concrete to support our common goal. Among other things, the network offers work and education opportunities, professional connections, funding, mentoring, support in skills development and useful information. So far the network has offered over 6000 work and education opportunities as well as supported more than 200 businesses run by refugees. We are active all around Finland and have offices in Helsinki, Rovaniemi and Oulu.