Founded in 2016, The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN) is a pioneering new social enterprise that supports and empowers refugees in the UK to realise their potential, fulfil their aspirations and develop their own businesses.


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 took operations to an exciting new level in 2018. We got bigger, helping 30 start refugee business activities and support another 30 refugees with early stage business training. We’re also getting better: we kept honing our models and now offer many  new mechanisms and experienced experteers to better support refugee entrepreneurs.

We also spread our wings, going to other cities in the UK (Bradford, Manchester first), as well as international, in collaboration with our partners Delitelabs in the Netherlands and Leethub in Germany.

over 90%
of participants recommend TERN to a friend

Not bad for a start!

Businesses activities started by TERN participants in 2017
refugees in the UK received early stage business training in 2017
9.5 / 10
Rating by participants

“Did TERN help you in developing your business?”

Businesses activities to be started by TERN participants in 2018
refugees in three countries to receive early stage business training in 2018

TERN's friendly team

Our team loves working with innovators from refugee communities worldwide. We are super into entrepreneurship, innovation and training delivery. We can't wait to meet you :-)

fred face
Fred Kastner
Head of Social Innovation, Co-Founder

Fred develops our business strategy, designs and delivers training courses and upskills staff and mentors.

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Personal Support Officer

Emily manages TERN’s personal, on demand support stream for refugee entrepreneurs. Emily also maintains TERN’s community engagement.

Chaz face
Charlie Fraser
Head of Partnerships, Co-Founder

Charlie builds TERN’s partnerships, referral models and raises capital. Charlie assists participants in seeking investment.

Design Thinking Officer

Aiman is TERN’s engineering mind. He helps participants innovate and iterate their ideas. With Emily, he accompanies participants’ innovation processes.

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Isobelle Ford
Community Engagement Officer

Isobelle liaises with the community to run our participant recruitment strategy and TERN’s social media.

Lead researcher, Co-Founder

Megan scopes, designs and coordinates TERN’s campaigns for advocacy and women entrepreneur engagement.

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John Milnes-Smith
Training Events Manager

John works with Fred to manage training events and support the learning progress of participants during and after trainings.

Ben Fraser
Head of fundraising, Co-Founder

Ben represents TERN in high level stakeholder meetings in the corporate and social enterprise funding domains.

We have awesome partners.

We couldn’t run TERN without the fantastic support of our partners from the business and charity domain. In establishing the framework and strategy TERN has had support from Oliver Wyman, a leading management consultancy firm and in our entrepreneurship pathway programme we have been working with Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever.

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