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CFE – Centre for Entrepreneurs – and FAIRE publish results of refugee entrepreneurship survey

The refugee entrepreneurship survey is the result of an encounter between FAIRE and CFE during the Global Refugee Entrepreneurship Summit in 2018. It was motivated by the need to be able to obtain and compile information on this important subject.

The survey covers 39 organisations from 19 countries, in addition to 25 refugee entrepreneurs who agreed to respond to an online questionnaire. Today, the CFE is officially launching the findings from this survey in the United Kingdom. The French version is also available.

Refugee entrepreneurship – an effective solution for refugee inclusion

According to the United Nations, an “unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes.” Forced migration is a reality; with unresolved conflicts and the climate crisis, this number is likely to increase.

Countries and states must have long-term policies and strategies to effectively manage these present and future challenges and to ensure the inclusion of migrants and refugees in host countries. Refugee entrepreneurship is one of many possible solutions that allow refugees to play a role in their own professional integration and to contribute to the economic growth of their new country.

FAIRE has been working with CFE to conduct a survey on refugee entrepreneurship, in order to consult and study programmes put in place to help refugee integration, focusing on areas such as financing, content and structure. 39 organisations from 19 countries, in addition to 25 refugee entrepreneurs who agreed to respond to an online questionnaire, were analysed in the survey.

What can we learn from the survey?

The participating organisations share a number of similarities. For example, their work is broadly focused on three principal areas: economic independence, changing public perception towards refugees and advising government policy.

Another similarity is that all organisations offer programmes that focus on the needs of refugee entrepreneurs, including business plan development, coaching or networking. If their programmes work, the question of sustainable funding for their activities is critical; this will not be possible without a strong, long-term commitment from their partners.

The survey also demonstrates the positive results of these programmes. Since 1994, 12,960 new businesses have been launched, of which 12,052 are still operating. The majority of businesses have been created in the food sector and creative industries. Overall however, the number of sectors mentioned remain quite large and encompass other areas such as the environment, engineering, fintech, etc.

From the perspective of refugees, the feedback is equally positive. Consider the two findings below:

  • Since 1994, 18,923 refugees have taken part in an entrepreneur support programme, resulting in the creation of 18,127 paid jobs.

  • Around the world, 79 per cent of refugees surveyed agreed they gained essential skills, knowledge and experience during their training.

Launching in France in the coming months

The results of this survey were revealed today by CFE in the United Kingdom. You can have a look at the survey here. The French version of this survey will be available soon – don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

FAIRE would like to sincerely thank CFE for its work on this survey. We hope that this report will become a useful tool for all stakeholders, so as to contribute to the development of refugee entrepreneurship programmes. The private sector and investors have an important role to play in supporting and financing these initiatives. Governments must also take advantage of this solution, which, in addition to integrating displaced people, represents a real opportunity for our economies.

For more information on CFE:


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