Locals & refugees as entrepreneurs through upcycling

by Vera Günther

from mimycri https://www.mimycri.de/

Our solution

Our evidence-based solution is to enable the set-up of upcycling social enterprises of locally produced eco-designs made from waste material. With an inclusive approach for different skills and communities, it can include craftsmen techniques & modern technologies. The organization within a cooperative/network facilitates marketing, sales and investment. The solution is empowering, sustainable and scalable and responds to the growing demand for sustainable products.

What's the business opportunity for host and refugee community

Both communities are invited to participate in trainings & setting up the inclusive social enterprise(s). Shared responsibilities & rights emphasize similarities and allow for knowledge transfer & mutual learning. Regular income creates market opportunities and tax income: refugees are perceived as contributors, not takers. Products can be sold on the different markets (local to international).This can also promote the region. There is great potential for partnerships & cross-sectoral approach.

How has it been implemented and what impact it had

This has been implemented in Germany as a social enterprise where refugees & locals work together creating upcycling products. The impact is a regular income for employees (incl. refugees) & thus an independent life. Marketing and communication raises awareness for the “employability” of refugees and strengthens the exchange between refugees and host. We have trained various other initiatives on how to set up similar project & gained international media and social entrepreneurship attention.

Our Skills and Experience

We worked in UN, World Bank & other projects for 6 years with experience in business development consulting and design thinking. Initiating projects for refugee camps & creating a social business to strengthen refugee integration resulted from our “maker” mentality. Independence&sustainability of developed projects are crucial for us. Our network consists of key business and political stakeholders. Having worked&lived in developing countries, we’re sensitive to different contexts and approaches.