A.I. Forte is a Canadian social enterprise which seeks to develop telecommunication platforms as well as blockchain encrypted reference systems to be used by aid agencies, governments, and forcibly displaced people more broadly. The team comes with a wealth of experience in digital security, communications, and health technology. Prior to establishing A.I. Forte, the founding team was responsible for the design and implementation of Dubai Ports World’s supply chain application stack, ATF Health Canada’s security stack, as well as identity management solutions in the eHealth domain for a provincial government in Canada.
734 Coffee is a social enterprise, providing ethically sourced, fair trade, naturally farmed coffee from Gambela, Ethiopia, a region which currently hosts over 700,000 refugees from South Sudan. 734 Coffee is led by Manyang Reath Kher, who spent much of his young life in a refugee camp in Gambela, before eventually earning a degree in International Law from the University of Richmond. It was there that he founded the Humanity Helping Sudan Project, a non-profit which works in close coordination with 734 Coffee. Currently 80% of profits are used to provide scholarships and education programs for refugees in Sudan.
BizGees is an innovation driven enterprise using alternative finance for financial inclusion dedicated to improving refugees’ access to the financial tools they need to succeed. They are a born global finTech startup supporting two different refugee communities. One community is in Northern Pakistan where 2.5 million people experienced displacement. The second community is in Uganda and Kenya.
Since winning the 2016 Refugee Challenge organized by What Design Can Do, UNHCR and Ikea Foundation, Makers Unite has experienced tremendous growth as a social enterprise dedicated to creating and empowering a network of refugee designers and locals working together to forge a more inclusive future. They work to empower newcomers to Europe by engaging their creativity to produce innovative products and fashion items. Examples include handbags made from recycled life-vests worn by refugees from the shores of Greece, and a collaboration between Syrian soap makers and a Dutch ceramic company Cor Unum.
Founded by Mursal Hedayat, a refugee from Afghanistan living in the UK, and Guillemette Dejean, a Y Combinator alum, Chatterbox is an online language learning platform designed and delivered by refugees. Language skills and cultural knowledge are increasingly necessary for professionals in the globalized economy. The Chatterbox digital platform uniquely combines AI-powered self-study courses alongside algorithmically matched native language coaches from the refugee community. Coaches are paired with students based on shared professional backgrounds and interests, achieving industry topping completion rates and unbeatable relevance in learning. On the app, engineers are learning Arabic from fellow engineers and aid workers are learning French from medical doctors. And while Chatterbox clients learn, their refugee coaches earn a living, improve their employability, and reclaim their professional identities. Classes can be offered one-on-one, in small groups, to whole classrooms, or for organizations who purchase lessons on behalf of their members.
Sparrow was founded in 2014 by a group of social entrepreneurs determined to end digital poverty and connect people across the globe using the company’s product-as-impact model.
Leaf offers integrated financial services to refugees and internally displaced persons, using blockchain to create a safe and secure system for individuals to store assets, receive payments, and make cross-border transfers. This suite of products works on any mobile phone (no smartphone required), providing easier access to particularly vulnerable populations. By using blockchain to facilitate digital payments, customers avoid unnecessarily high transaction costs charged by traditional money transfer companies. They can access Leaf’s digital wallet wherever they go and receive deposits from friends and family abroad straight to their mobile device. Refugees and other displaced persons are often at risk of criminal activity as a result of carrying cash, and physical currency is especially difficult to safely store and transport across borders. Leaf provides individuals with an opportunity to create a secure economic identity while also lowering the barrier to accessing key financial services.