Supporting Refugee Lead Business

Refugee week takes place on the 20th June each year and is a festival celebrating and reflecting on the contributions, resilience and resourcefulness of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. It is a time when people from various backgrounds connect and highlight why people are displaces and the challenges many come across when finding safety.

The theme this year is ‘Healing‘ and will consist of a celebration of community, mutual care, and the human ability to start. Whether it’s about looking after ourselves and each other at difficult times, overcoming political divisions or coming together to fight for the survival of our shared planet, healing matters to all of us.

To find out more and to explore the theme further watch the video below.

This year we asked TERN (The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network) to write us an article that highlights how they support and encourage refugees to follow their dreams and reach their business goals…

TERN is an ambitious social enterprise and ever-growing community with a mission to enable refugees to thrive through the power of their own ideas. We do this through an ecosystem of targeted business incubation support, coaching & mentoring, carving out finance pathways and building Europe’s first-ever marketplace exclusively for refugee-led brands, Anqa Collective.

We have supported nearly 400 entrepreneurs with refugee background since we were founded in 2016 and have a goal to reach 1600 more in the next 3 years through programmes with partners in Manchester, Paris, Holland, the United States & beyond. These entrepreneurs launch SMEs across many industries- fashion, wellness, tech & digital, social enterprise, and, of course, delicious food & beverage.

TERN has just kicked off it’s 5th annual pre-incubator programme, a combination of employment, mentoring & entrepreneurial skills training that supports newcomers to explore their ideas and start planning a roadmap towards their goals. The TERN team is working to achieve a 51% alumni-led programme by training new facilitators called “TERN Champions” to share their experiences and wisdom, and teach business topics to new cohort members.

The incoming cohort of entrepreneurs will be using the design thinking process to develop their ideas, meaning lots of research on users, competitors, and the UK market will be necessary. TERN is proud to partner with SBREC, who’s business experts visit our workshops to teach entrepreneurs how to access & use market research databases and online knowledge tools available remotely through the SBREC membership. It’s so valuable, especially for newcomers, to have access to thorough & up-to-date information about the UK market, prospective industry best practices, and their obligations doing business in this country. It is amazing that there is this safe and accessible information that is so critical to founders navigating their entrepreneurship journey!

If you are curious to learn more and support refugee entrepreneurship in London, here are a few upcoming events:

In collaboration with Refugee Week, the Anqa Collective has launched a special range of products inspired by this year’s theme, Healing.

We are celebrating community, mutual care, and the human ability to start again. No-one understands this better than those who have lost their homes and had to build new lives from scratch. We have much to learn from refugees about holding on to hope when going on seems impossible – as well as about how art, creativity and community can help us to heal. The collection includes homeware, ceramics, fashion and food products, and every brand selling on Anqa is run by a refugee founder. This means that every purchase you make has a huge impact, supporting a small, refugee-run business to develop and grow.

You can shop the collection here during our online pop up, from 13th-30th June

You can also meet the TERN community through TERN’s Live Events

*We strive to do our best when supporting small business and their growth. Our business databases can give you information and data that can help you with advertising, market research, company information, and industry factsheets. If you have already taken the plunge, we would love for you to join us at a seminar, our workshops cover digital marketing, business model canvas and planning, demystifying taxes and intellectual property to name a few. Visit our events page or website for more information.

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