Photo Exhibition on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees

The annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GFW) campaign raises awareness of and promotes entrepreneurship initiatives.

UNCTAD, IOM and UNHCR held a joint photo exhibition on 18 November at the Palais des Nations in Geneva showcasing the contributions of migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to the development of their host communities and communities of origin. In the spirit of delivering as One UN, this initiative builds on the ongoing tripartite partnership that led to the joint UNCTAD, IOM, UNHCR Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees, launched during the World Investment Forum in Geneva in October 2018. The exhibition of 30 photographs also provided the occasion to exhibit the collective sculpture of artist Romain Langlois, created in collaboration with twenty migrants and refugees in France.

  1. Resilience By Thana Faroq, September 2018

An internally displaced woman entrepreneur in Yemen bakes a birthday cake. Since March 2015, thousands of families in Yemen have fled their homes because of the conflict. Though each woman suffered from the impact of the war in a different way, they all have one thing in common: the spirit of resilience

  1. Digital Mind By Monica Chiriac, March 2016

Digital Mind is a communication agency based in Niamey founded by Lisa and Ben, two young entrepreneurs from Benin. After settling down in Niger in 2016, they decided to open Digital Mind to provide their future clients with high quality communication products

  1. Al-Oumma By Monica Chiriac, March 2016

Once he received assistance from IOM, Aziz gathered enough courage to open his own welding company, “Al-Oumma” in Tahoua, Niger. Aziz has been living with polio since he was a toddler, but he is a strong pillar to his wife, three children and extended family, always trying to fill in the gaps in the family revenues.

  1. Abu Rima By Imene Trabelsi, September 2019

Mohamed, commonly known as “Abu Rima” (Rima’s father) is a Syrian Refugee in Iraq who used to be one of the most skilled bakers of Qamishli, in Northern Syria. He and his family left their hometown to escape violence in 2013. He found refuge in Kawergosk refugee camp in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where he decided to open a bakery in 2017. It now offers part time employment to five other refugees in the camp.

  1. Inspiration By Imene Trabelsi, October 2019

Jamila is a 26-year-old Yazidi entrepreneur in Chamishku IDP camp, Iraq. A year after she and her family arrived in the camp, she managed to open her own beauty supplies business and is now able to make a decent income to support for her parents, seven brothers and sisters and four nephews and nieces. Jamila is also a source of inspiration to many other women in the camp

  1. Man’s Job? By BDC Jordan, February 2017

Amal, a Syrian refugee, learned plumbing — traditionally considered a “man’s job”- out of necessity. She is proud to help train other women with similar backgrounds to benefit from what is now her career.

  1. Becoming a Chef By Sanne Biesmans, October 2019

Claire fled her home during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. She moved to Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. She tried many things and failed, before deciding to follow her dream of becoming a chef. She bought pots and pans and opened a small restaurant. She recently opened a second one and is now employing 17 people.

  1. Starting Over By Reatile Moalusi, September 2019

Migrant entrepreneur reconstructing his retail shop in South Africa. In September 2019 a surge of new violent attacks culminated in migrants’ shops being attacked and demolished.

  1. Leaving a trace By Romain Langlois, January 2017

Migrants and refugees from Iran and Guinea are working together on a sculpture as part of the collaborative artistic project “Akène” in France.

  1. Phone Repairs By IDMC, March 2019

Samuel, displaced by violence in Northeast Nigeria, is now selling and repairing mobile phones in Old Maiduguri, Nigeria.

  1. Crafting Jewelry By Rosalina Cermeño, October 2019

Heily Alemán, 29, is a Nicaraguan asylum seeker in Panama and the proud owner of Artesol; a store selling jewelry and eco-friendly purses.

  1. Beauty By Alina Kovalenko, March 2019

A refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo is now the owner of a beauty salon in Ukraine.

  1. Chef Found By Alina Kovalenko, August 2019

A refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) working in one of the top seafood restaurants in Kyiv, Ukraine. The restaurant, owned by a Ukrainian, was looking for African chefs. A local NGO saw the advertisement and organized an internship, which resulted in three refugees from the DRC received an offer of employment.

  1. Power of Family By Oleh Kutskiy, August 2019

A family of Somali refugees started a small business producing sauces in Odesa, Ukraine. The owner, Lul Ibrahim Mohamed, 34, started her business with the support of her children Munira, 16, and Ibrahim, 15. They have registered ‘Lul sauce’ Ltd and received relevant certificates on compliance with technical standards.

  1. Skills in Innovation By Julia Cumes, May 2018

Remy Gakwaya is the founder of takenoLAB, an organization that teaches software engineering and digital skills to refugees and the host community in Malawi. The idea behind it is that these skills are transferable and can be applied to compete for online employment and support community technological development.

  1. Weaving Basket By Brittany Barb, June 2019

Refugee artisans weaving baskets in Mahama Refugee camp, Rwanda. They are crafting woven products that are exported to international markets. This project secures a sustainable income for the women.

  1. Wood Dust Pallets By Volodymyr Shuvayev, September 2019

Oksana is an IDP who moved with her husband and two children from the conflict-affected town of Toretsk, in Eastern Ukraine to Kharkiv. She produces wood dust pellets that are used for heating as an alternative to gas, coal or firewood.

  1. KING Chapati By Hugo Ivanove, October 2019

The chapati business was initiated by a young refugee, entrepreneur called KING in Dzaleka refugee camp. He expanded his business to other major towns in Malawi. Since this type of bread is only found in Dzaleka refugee camp, people travel long distances to buy it.

  1. Nyama Choma By Hugo Ivanove, October 2019

Refugees in the restaurant sector of the Dzaleka camp in Malawi grilling “Nyama Choma”. Nyama Choma (grilled meat) is now part of the identity of Dzaleka refugee camp. People travel more than 50km to the camp to buy it.

  1. Poultry By by Tomás Toapanta, August 2018

Luis is a Columbian refugee in Ecuador. He started his own farm while his wife is receiving training on breeding poultry and guinea pigs, an Ecuadorian delicacy. They both saved some money thanks to these activities. Their business expanded, and both are working in their fields and producing agricultural products.

  1. Metalworking By Omar Faru

A Rohingya welder making a handcart at the Site Maintenance and Engineering Project (SMEP) Centre of Excellence, in a Rohingya refugee camp. These simple tools facilitate safer and more efficient material transport.

  1. Smarter and Cheaper By Olivier Nkunzurwanda, October 2019

Refugee entrepreneurs making ‘brickettes’ in Rwamwanja refugee settlement, Uganda. They help conserve the environment and are 85 per cent less expensive than charcoal.

  1. Peanut Butter By Stephanie Loose, November 2018

Congolese refugee producing and selling peanut butter at Koboko market in Uganda.

  1. Grow a Tree By Olivier Nkunzurwanda, October 2019

A Tree Nursery established by refugees nurtures self-reliance and contribute to environment conservation in Kamwenge District-Uganda.

  1. Buriti By Benjamin Mas, September 2019

Indigenous Warao population from Venezuela currently living in a shelter in Roraima and Amazonas states, in Brazil, transform Amazon straw (Buriti) into beautiful handicrafts to be sold in São Paulo.

  1. Love Spreads Through Food By Dan Prits, August 2017

Refugees and migrants from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq and Iran offer catering services of their home cuisine to local Estonians to bring together people and share cultures. Köömen is a social enterprise led by resettled refugees and migrants, the ethos of which can be found in the Estonian folk saying «Armastus käib kõhu kaudu» (Love spreads through food).

  1. Outdoor Furniture By Adélie Breil, September 2018

Jenny is a refugee from the Central African Republic living in Salé, Morocco, where he decided to open his own outdoor furniture company four years ago. He uses recycled material for his products.

  1. Fashion By Adélie Breil, September 2018

Hanan comes from Yemen and is now a refugee living in Rabat, Morocco. In 2018, she opened her own sewing business and is selling the clothes she makes.

  1. Grocery By Diakhate Meriem, September 2018

Since his arrival in Morocco, Ahmed, a Syrian refugee, worked drilling wells. As this seasonal work did not ensure a stable income, he decided to open a grocery store in the village where he and his family live. He now manages the grocery store with his wife.

  1. Patatas By Daniela Obando, August 2018

Martha is a Colombian single mother who fled to Ecuador. She found a local business partner to start a potato farm. Martha is earning enough to support her family and have savings.