We arrived in Geneva today, with our partners, to celebrate the arrival of the UNHCR Solidarity Train and the start of the Global Refugee Forum.
The private sector plays a key role in social innovation for refugees, proposing effective solutions for their integration into society and the job market. Businesses can strengthen the employability of refugees and promote refugee entrepreneurship through things like advocacy and language training. France, in particular, is leading the way - and our French partners Singa and Wintegreat are scaling their models across Europe, including in Germany and Switzerland.
Today, we announce also a new partnership and a co-investment from the French Labour Ministry to expand our program for refugee entrepreneurs in France from Paris to three new locations: in Montreuil, St Denis and Strasbourg. The Strasbourg incubator, realised in collaboration with our German colleagues and partners, will be the first Franco-German hub of its kind.
Our common goal is turning refugees’ business ideas into reality – through training, coaching, and access to working spaces and financing – and if entrepreneurship isn’t the right path for them, we offer practical training for jobs needed in the community. To achieve this, we’re working across sectors, with private corporations and other Foundations like our new partner SNCF Foundation.
Integrating refugees through work is vital to welcoming them into wider society and will benefit our whole economy in the future. The private sector has a lot to contribute, and we believe it should work alongside the public sector and leading NGOs and social enterprises to support refugees.