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Refugee Employment Initiative

Poland and Romania


Participating Social Enterprises

In 2022, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, NESsT and the Cisco Foundation partnered to launch the NESsT Refugee Employment Initiative. This initiative provides financing and capacity-building support to fifteen enterprises in Poland and Romania, with the aim to benefit over 5,000 refugees. 

The war in Ukraine has led to a global economic and political crisis that is affecting an increasing number of refugees and internally displaced people. Supporting entrepreneurial solutions is one way the socioeconomic impact on refugees can be mitigated and, in some cases, create new market opportunities. 

To continue building upon important aid efforts in the region and move beyond the immediate humanitarian needs of refugees, the Refugee Employment Initiative supports enterprises focused on empowering refugees with the tools and resources needed to rebuild their lives such as career training and job opportunities, and additional support services such as mental health support, language classes, and childcare. 

This initiative will invest in new enterprises that support refugees as well as work with existing NESsT Poland and Romania portfolio enterprises to adapt or scale their businesses to better support refugees. Enterprises will join the portfolio on a rolling basis. 

Through this partnership, we aim to  facilitate long-term stability and community development for refugees. 

Read more about NESsT.