Refugee entrepreneur program looks to empower Syrian founders


The Refugee Career Jumpstart Project (Jumpstart) is hosting a joint program with Angel Investors Ontario, aimed to empower and support refugee entrepreneurs.

Refugees with innovative businesses or business ideas will have the opportunity to grow their knowledge in entrepreneurship and have access to workshops, resources, as well as mentorship from angel investors. Entrepreneurs will present their ideas to Angel investors for a chance of funding and support.

Jumpstart is a Canadian non-profit focused on streamlining the process between the arrival of refugees and their employment.

This a pilot program, being run for Syrian refugees, from January to April 2019. The program will be open to all refugee entrepreneurs after its pilot phase. The project will include two half-day training sessions by industry experts and angel investors, where participants will learn about validating a business idea, writing a business plan, building a team and strong advisory network, and how raising capital from grants, financing or angel investing, as well as support from the Jumpstart team with business pitch preparation.

Five entrepreneurs will be selected to pitch their business or idea to a panel of Angel investors. The winning entrepreneurs will receive funding to grow or start their business. The two workshop days will run on Friday, March 1st and Monday, March 4th. On Monday, March 4th, from 3:30 to 6:00 pm, closing remarks and a reception will be held to celebrate refugee entrepreneurs.

The Refugee Career Jumpstart Project is a Canadian non-profit focused on streamlining the process between the arrival of refugees and their employment. Founded in 2015, RCJP supports refugees and newcomers in their entry into both the education and job markets. Some other projects from the same initiative include The Refugee Trade Connection Project, Hack Your Future, and the Refugee Economic Pathways Project.

The program is targeted towards Syrian refugees with a business or business idea and plan. More information can be found at the Angel Investors Ontario website.

Feature image courtesy Jumpstart

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.