World Refugee Day: Embracing Hope Away From Home Through Entrepreneurship

As the world comes together to commemorate World Refugee Day, Inkomoko proudly stands in solidarity with the global community under the theme “hope away from home.” This resonates deeply with our mission as we continue to empower entrepreneurs across Africa, including refugees, providing them with hope to rebuild their lives and contribute to the economies of their host countries.

Over the past 11 years, Inkomoko has been dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and economic growth in Africa. We have worked with over 57,000 clients, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda, and witnessed firsthand the transformative power of entrepreneurship in creating opportunities and changing lives. By equipping our clients, including refugees with the tools, skills, and resources necessary to become successful entrepreneurs, we enable them to contribute to the economies of their host countries, transforming their own lives and those around them.

That is why to date, Inkomoko’s investments have powered refugee and host community businesses to generate over $60M USD in new revenues circulating into the local economies and created 40,000 new jobs, of which about 50% go to refugees and the other half employ host community members.

Diane Feza, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a testament to the impact of our work. In 2015, Diane started a small business in the Kigeme refugee camp in southwestern Rwanda after realizing that depending solely on food ration funds would not be sufficient to meet the needs of her family of four. Soon thereafter, she became an Inkomoko client. In the beginning, Diane grew her business slowly, attending skills training courses and successfully repaying an initial loan of RWF2,000,000 (approximately $2,000 USD).

Over the years, Diane’s business and ambitions have grown. What started out as a small shop has grown into a large retail and wholesale business. Today, Diane is one of the main food suppliers in the camp, as well as in the surrounding community. She also ventured into agribusiness and has a network of mobile money agents, which helps other refugees access needed financial products.

The journey of refugees is not one that they should embark on alone. It requires the collaboration and support of governments, organizations, and individuals alike. By joining forces, we can create an enabling environment that recognizes the potential and contributions of refugees. Let us break down barriers and create pathways for economic empowerment, education, and integration.

On this World Refugee Day, we call upon individuals, businesses, and communities to embrace the cause of refugees and take action. By supporting organizations like Inkomoko and others working towards empowering refugees, we can collectively make a difference. Together, we can create a future where refugees find hope, rebuild their lives, and contribute to the prosperity of their host countries.

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