Problem Definition

What would happen if one day you have to leave your home city for a completely new place without any track record of your past? What if you don’t have any national or international identity documents with you? How can you find a job when you don’t have a certificate, resume, recommendations or any documents showing your education, past experience, or even how trustworthy you are?

The conflicts in several countries of the world burn on for an average of 37 years, meaning many people have been seeking asylum for an average of 10 years. Before re-settling in a new host country, a refugee can accrue a gap in education, work experience, or even social relations causing malicious effects for both refugees and the host country.

Empowering refugees with economic independence is one of the best ways to integrate newcomers into the ecosystem. Welcoming them into the fold of a new society, whilst acknowledging the culture and traditions left behind, is a challenge and opportunity that is recognised by a number of NGOs, who have developed sustainable integration strategies.

This project addresses how to integrate entrepreneurial refugees in to society – optimising mutual benefits for both parties.

What is Ashena?

Having a job is instrumental to feeling integrated in to society. Ashena enables refugees to better integrate by helping them convey their skills and experiences to audiences of like-minded local businesses. The service shifts the emphasis from a receiver-giver dynamic (state support and volunteering), to a professional network of entrepreneurs who want to share their skills, expertise and shared dreams.

How it works?

  • Ashena helps both individuals and small business owners make a rich profile using a chatbot to present themselves in a compelling way. The members can use different media and languages to create their own profiles on the website.
  • The service facilitates the first meeting by suggesting existing events and meet-ups in the city.