Refugee entrepreneurs: FAIRE finances its first entrepreneur following launch of loan program

A few weeks ago, FAIRE – the Fund for Action and Innovation by Refugee Entrepreneurs – conducted its first panel to support refugee entrepreneurs. Here’s a snapshot of the event that marks the start of a whole new initiative for FAIRE!

 

The panel

A few weeks ago, FAIRE conducted its first panel with three pre-selected entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur presented a project, all of which varied in nature, ranging from recycling, health technology to artificial intelligence.

Each entrepreneur was invited to pitch their project to the panel. The panel was comprised of FAIRE’s Board of Directors and an external consultant. Each presentation was followed by a Q&A session, allowing the entrepreneurs to provide more details about their project and outline their long-term vision for the project’s development.

Following deliberation by the panel, it was announced that one project was accepted into the program and another project remains under review.

The first recipient: Ghaees Alshorbajy, founder of KaouKab

The first recipient selected by the panel is Ghaees Alshorbajy. He arrived in France in 2015 from his country of origin Syria.

Ghaees has previous experience working in the recycling sector and hopes to continue working in this sector in France. He is therefore launching his own company, KaouKab, a website that allows organisations within the Ile-de-France region to dispose of metal waste in one click and at no cost. The waste is then collected and later resold by KaouKab.

Last week, FAIRE signed an agreement with Ghaees, formalising the support we will provide to KaouKab. FAIRE is committed to strong collaboration with Ghaees from the outset, with the hope that our involvement will have a positive impact on KaouKab’s long-term development and growth.

Prior to the panel’s decision, Ghaees’ promising project had been incubated at our partners SINGA and make sense. Ghaees has also received support from ADIE, who helped Ghaees finance his project and who also put him at the forefront of their most recent marketing campaign!

Spotlight on our finance program for refugee entrepreneurs

Up until now, FAIRE has promoted refugee entrepreneurship by supporting organisations and associations that put incubation, acceleration programs and support networks in place for refugee entrepreneurs.

In less than 18 months of operation, FAIRE will have thus financed six organizations, which have each assisted dozens of entrepreneurial projects. Far from a typical fund, FAIRE is deeply engaged with its partners and entrepreneurs, providing advice, support and mentoring on a regular basis.

However, we would like to further build upon this support. As a result, we are directly financing refugee entrepreneurs through interest-free loans, in order to help them pursue their own entrepreneurial projects. This initiative not only aims to give a leg up to refugees so they may pursue their projects, but also to help them leverage other loans or financing, and thus further develop and scale their business in a sustainable manner.

We are looking for new candidates! If you are a refugee who was forcibly displaced and who has an idea for an entrepreneurial project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to speak about this initiative in more detail.