Social Entrepreneurs’ Responses to the Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon
With the Syrian refugee crisis in its eighth year and no end in sight, two Syria’s immediate neighbours, Jordan and Lebanon, struggle to provide safe heaven to the large number of Syrians who fled their home country and sought refuge within their borders. With governments struggling despite assistance on part of the international community, private sector has been observed to enter the stage as well, no just as a provider of donations but also active agent. One example of such engagement is on part of a growing number of social entrepreneurs “tackling social issues with a business-like approach” (Dees, 2001) operating in Jordan and Lebanon.
Against this background, the aim of this exploratory study is to provide an overview of the social entrepreneurship scene working in the field of refugee crisis mitigation in both countries. Assumption, grounded in preliminary background research, is that social entrepreneurs positively –if not on a large scale – contribute to the alleviation of the refugee crisis by virtue of working with and for refugees, and indeed deriving from the refugee community themselves. Specifically, project aims to explore whom, how, and with what results is applying social enterprise business model to alleviate the refugee crisis in both countries under research. In order to answer these questions, CASE and RSS shall interview a number of social entrepreneurs as well as representatives of entities supporting them (business angels, accelerators) and create between four and five cases studies exploring functioning of refugee-focused social enterprises in selected fields (education, environment, financial inclusion, women’s empowerment).
Objectives of the project:
CASE and RSS will prepare a report containing an overview of the refugee-oriented social entrepreneurship scene in Jordan and Lebanon that will serve as a first point of reference for everyone interested in the subject. The goal is to make the study of value to local policymakers responsible for mitigation of the effects of the refugee crisis – providing suggestions on how can they facilitate the entrepreneurs’ work – as well as private investors and companies interested in investing in social enterprises focusing on refugees.
Project funding: FEMISE 2018/19 Internal Competition
Project leader: CASE
Project partners: Royal Scientific Society of Jordan (RSS)
Experts: K.Sidło, I.Styczyńska
Case project administrator: Justyna Perzanowska-Szymczak