On Tuesday 9 July 2019, FAIRE was invited to participate in the final jury for 8 entrepreneurs, who have spent the past 5 months working with SINGA Acceleration, a capacity building and leadership programme that is dedicated to refugees and/or organisations focused on supporting refugees and asylum seekers. The programme helps businesses and organisations as they look to scale up their activities.
While FAIRE has already met these dedicated entrepreneurs during the selection process of the programme, we were delighted to review their progress and see how their projects have matured. Each entrepreneur was tasked with giving a concise and convincing 5 min pitch, before going into more detail during the Q&A session.
Three projects focused more specifically on languages and/or communication: First was Causons, an initiative led by Hélène to promote linguistic and cultural exchanges with people from an immigrant background, through language lessons and cultural activities. This concept of language was also very present in Aline and Reza’s business, NaTakallam (“we are speaking” in Arabic), a community platform that offers online translation and language learning services, all provided by refugees.
The importance of language and communication can be found in a different form with Yasser’s concept, Ziggurat, a digital platform that connects travellers with guides that speak the same language.
The third person to present their project, Rooh, shed some light on the needs, opportunities and timing for Jahan.info, a business intelligence/analysis subscription service that allows people to track news and trends in specific countries or regions via their online platform.
Ghaees began his pitch by telling a powerful story about the only recycling project amongst the candidates, Kaoukab, which collects and recycles metal waste from professionals all over Ile-de-France.
The jury also was given the opportunity to find out what’s been happening with two projects founded by women that focus on female empowerment: Empower my Mama and Gribouilli. The first, linked to the “Meet my mama” initiative, uses the cooking skills of women from refugee and disadvantaged backgrounds to train them as caterers and cooks, thus boosting their social and economic integration. The second provides training and certification in order to ensure the professional integration of a community of 500 homed-based nannies.
Finally, the Solinum project, which is already well under way, provides a digital platform to help social workers and homeless people gain access to basic needs (shower, changing rooms, receptions, catering, health, etc.).
Despite their differences, these projects all have one thing in common: the potential to make a huge impact!