Webinar: Refugees Jobs Agenda – Entrepreneurship Offers Employment Pathways

August 03, 2017

Business_2Refugees have left everything behind, including successful businesses. Now in their new communities, many refugees are fueled by their entrepreneurial spirit, and eager to reestablish their business or create a new one. Refugee entrepreneurs have the potential to make significant economic contributions, but there are a number of barriers to overcome before the full potential of these newcomers can be realized. Forward-thinking communities that recognize the barriers faced by newcomer entrepreneurs, including a lack of familiarity with the business culture, lack of professional networks and limited access to resources, can effectively respond
to foster successful start-ups among the refugee entrepreneur population.

Kajal Sanghrajka, an immigrant entrepreneur herself, knows first-hand the challenges and barriers newcomers face when starting and growing a business. Her current research has explored the challenges and solutions available to immigrant entrepreneurs across 8 cities. Join Kajal in a discussion with representatives from two organizations that are successfully supporting newcomer entrepreneurs realize their business dreams: Scadding Court Community Centre’s Business Out of a Box model in Toronto and CAMBA Small Business Services in New York. Learn how each model is meeting the needs of newcomer entrepreneurs through breaking down barriers and using innovative solutions to jump start business success for newcomers.

Webinar Video



Lyna SaadLyna Saad, Senior Manager, Development & Community Engagement, Scadding Court Community Centre (Toronto, Canada)

Lyna is the Senior Manager of Development and Community Engagement for Scadding Court Community Centre where she works on community-level innovations in economic resiliency. Her current portfolio includes the Business out of a Box initiative, which leverages informal infrastructure and underutilized spaces, and facilitates a newcomer-friendly application process to make entrepreneurship accessible to immigrants and refugees.

Prior to her work with SCCC, Lyna worked on a neighbourhood-based planning initiative with Hamilton’s Neighbourhood Action Strategy, and on public housing economic development and revitalization with New York City Housing Authority and the Rosenberg Housing Group. She holds a Master in Urban Planning from the City University of New York’s Hunter College, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Isaac_RoldanIsaac Roldan, Director, Small Business Services, CAMBA (New York, U.S.A.)

Isaac is the Director of CAMBA Small Business Services (SBS), responsible for the day-to-day management and oversight of all SBS programs, including Mobilize Your Business, a program designed to teach immigrant/disadvantaged small business owners, and worker owner cooperatives, how to leverage technology to increase revenues, decrease expenses and operate their business with a high level of efficiency. Isaac leads an entrepreneurial assistance team providing small business education, tailored training and small business loans to immigrant entrepreneurs helping them to establish, grow and expand their businesses.

Before joining CAMBA, Isaac held a series of progressively more responsible positions for Accion, one of the premier microfinance organizations in the world. Isaac managed several teams including Business Development, Small Business Lending and Portfolio Management. His wealth of experience makes him an expert in all facets of small business lending and education, and his passion for finding alternative solutions to pervasive challenges, makes him a true advocate for immigrant entrepreneurs.


Kajal_SanghrajkaKajal Sanghrajka , Founder & Director, Growth Hub (London, U.K.)

Kajal is the founder of Growth Hub, an organization that supports European companies to grow globally with a focus on the North American market. This year she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to research how cities attract and integrate immigrant entrepreneurs. In 2017, she has so far travelled to 8 cities and publishes the findings in a monthly editorial – The Transatlantic Post.

As a London native, she experienced a number of challenges as an immigrant entrepreneur when she started and successfully grew her first business in New York in 2012. In tandem, she also co-founded Columbia Business School’s first start-up incubator where she supported other international entrepreneurs navigate the process. She is currently a business mentor for Berlin Techstars and the Mayor of London’s International Business Programme. Kajal holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


Refugees Jobs Agenda Webinar Series

This webinar is part of Refugees Jobs Agenda: a webinar series exploring refugees and labour market integration hosted by Hire Immigrants, Cities of Migration and Bertelsmann Stiftung

• Refugees Jobs Agenda: Kick-starting Employer Action
• Refugees Jobs Agenda: Rethinking Employer Role and Leadership
• Refugees Jobs Agenda:  From Welcoming Cities to Welcoming Economies
• Refugees Jobs Agenda: Entrepreneurship Offers Employment Pathways

View all Past webinars »