TERN challenges the misconception that refugees cannot contribute positively to their local community. Contrary to stereotypes, many refugees were successful business people in their country of origin before being forced to flee to the UK.
But, more so than looking at past achievements, we focus on where people want to go and what dreams they want to realise. TERN uses the power of entrepreneurship to help refugees realise their potential and develop their ideas into actively trading, sustainable businesses.
From this, TERN shares the achievements of refugee entrepreneurs with both the mainstream business community and wider public, to change the way people see and think about refugees.
What we have done so far
TERN was set-up in April 2016 and has since run three programmes supporting over 25 refugee entrepreneurs. Our programmes are based on personalised support, recognising that each individual comes with unique experiences and faces different challenges.
At the first stage, the TERN Pre-Incubator, we help refugees at an earlier stage of entrepreneurial development discover if starting a business is the right pathway. During this phase, we provide access to part time employment via our employment partners – allowing participants to keep their options open.
In the following phase, the TERN incubator,we assist more advanced entreprenuers in understanding the local market, trends and customer needs; in growing their business networks and in accessing business finance.
What’s next for TERN?
After a highly successful first year 2017, TERN is going to an exciting new level in 2018. We’re getting bigger, aiming to help start 30 refugee business activities and support another 30 refugees with early stage business training. We’re also getting better: our next incubator will include new mechanisms and experienced supporters to better support refugee entrepreneurs. Lastly, we are spreading: we are going international, taking our work to the Netherlands with our partner Delitelabs, so that refugee entrepreneurs in Europe can also get the right support in realising their dreams.