The number of forcibly displaced people has doubled since 2012 from, now at over 100 million refugees worldwide. The Refugee Investment Network was established to tackle this by helping private sector investments reach refugee communities and entrepreneurs.
With an estimated 500,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the UK at the end of 2022, thinking about long-term integration is key. 72,000 asylum application were filed in 2022, effectively overwhelming government resources to provide access to Housing, Access to Finance / Banking, and Entrepreneurship and Employment.
Despite refugees having the legal right to work in the UK, they often lack local professional networks, language skills, certifications, and integration support - the employment rate among resettled refugees is just 5% after the first year.
The tight labor market in the UK creates an opportunity for the private sector to expand their hiring pools with refugees. Roles such as customer service, retail, maintenance, security, and construction and especially short on staff.
An example business that is making the most of refugee talent is Livara, set up in 2013 and now with six hair salons in Uganda. They hire 64 employees, 22% of whom are Congolese refugees. In the UK, Abdul Shiil’s family started Sahan Cares, a social enterprise that provides home care and support services to the elderly, based on their experience as Somali refugees in West London.
In the West of England, Ashley Community Housing (ACH) were recognised. ACH provide housing association that supports refugees to resettle and integrate into the UK. Their a social investment model was Sharia-compliant and therefore suitable for faith-oriented investors. ACH worked with Resonance, a social investment company, to develop an alternative investment product based on a yield-sharing model.
Find the downloadable report at at refugeeinvestments.org