If you’re in tune to the social enterprise space, you would have no doubt seen Refugee Talent making waves throughout the country. Splashed across our newspapers in the Guardian, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Huffington Post; flashing up on our screens on SBS; and being mentioned in parliament by a federal MP. Not bad for an enterprise that is one year old!
Refugee Talent is a social enterprise and online platform that matches refugees who are looking for work, with local companies offering positions and opportunities. They also run ‘speed dating’ style events where refugees and employers are connected. The enterprise began when founders Nirary Dacho and Anna Robson met at the Techfugees Hackathon; the pair had the same desire to find a way to help refugees find suitable employment.
“What I experienced deeply impacted me. Not only in terms of the human suffering I saw but that many people locked up were also very highly skilled… it was such a waste of human potential.”
— Anna Robson, Refugee Talent
Nirary is a refugee himself, having arrived in Australia just over a year ago. He has a Masters Degree in Web Science and applied for over 100 jobs in Australia through the normal channels following his arrival. He personally has experienced the difficulties surrounding employment and was looking to create a solution. Anna spent time working on Nauru with Save the Children and says, “what I experienced deeply impacted me. Not only in terms of the human suffering I saw but that many people locked up were also very highly skilled… it was such a waste of human potential”. So Refugee Talent was born, and Nirary and Anna approached TDi’s Two Feet program to help develop and grow their enterprise. Anna says “there are many different aspects to running a social enterprise and the Two Feet program covers all the important functions you need to be successful”. The enterprise focused on building their branding, their marketing and their governance when they took part in the Sydney cohort of Two Feet in 2016.
“I would highly recommend the Two Feet program to any social enterprise looking to grow”
— Anna Robson, Refugee Talent
The enterprise are an excellent example of Blended Value; having financial sustainability, alongside doing good in their community and creating sustainable change. Refugee Talent are helping refugees gain meaningful employment, enabling people to use their skills and experience to be financially independent and empowered. On the flip side, the businesses who hire through Refugee Talent are increasing their diversity. It’s a win-win.
Refugee Talent have been moving forward and upwards at a rapid rate over the last year, so what does 2017 have in store for the enterprise? “As an online platform we are set up to be global from day one. In 2017, we will look to really grow Refugee Talent in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, as well as New Zealand. TDi has loved working alongside Refugee Talent and we look forward to seeing what they achieve in the coming years.
Refugee Talent were winners at our recent Dragons’ Den event.
Didn’t make the event? Check out the recap here.
And see what Refugee Talent are up to here.