Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s FinTech firm Square and The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network have announced a new collaboration to help refugee entrepreneurs succeed.
Launched as part of London Tech Week, the partnership will see Square provide entrepreneurial refugees in the UK with access to payments hardware and software, along with education and training, to ensure they have the tools and skills they need to achieve their business goals.
To launch the collaboration, Square CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey interviewed three entrepreneurs from The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network live on stage.
They discussed their experiences of setting up and running a business when coming from a non-traditional background, including the challenges of accessing technology and finance.
“We want to make sure anyone and everyone can pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions,” said Dorsey.
“I was moved and humbled by the inspiring conversations I had with Usman, Naglaa and Muzaffar. Their stories serve as an important reminder of our shared responsibility to create a fairer financial network for all.”
Dorsey spoke to Usman Khalid, originally from Pakistan, who set up ‘Haven Coffee’ after learning how to become a barista through a social enterprise.
He also spoke to Naglaa Sadikm, who grew up in Sudan before moving to England over 25 years ago. In 2005, she launched ‘Naglaa’s World’ providing translation and interpretation services.
Finally he spoke to Muzaffar Sadykov, who worked as a chef for eight years after moving to the UK from Kyrgyzstan while saving to start his own street-food business, ‘Oshpaz.’
“TERN is an amazing resource and has been fundamental in helping me start a business of my own,” said Khalid.
“Once you have an idea, there are still many unique obstacles to navigate when you come from a refugee background. Collaborations with partners like Square have given me access to technology that others might take for granted and have enabled my business to grow and thrive.”
TERN co-founder Charlie Fraser added: “We’ve been working tirelessly for the past three years to change this and ensure that refugees are able to thrive through the power of their own ideas. It’s fantastic to have Square’s support in this important work.”