UK is “land of opportunities” says panel discussion with refugee business owners

Square CEO Jack Dorsey and refugees supported by TERN met to discuss running your own business as a refugee

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On Tuesday 11 June, Jack Dorsey, CEO of payments firm Square, met with refugee business owners who have been supported by The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN), to discuss their experiences as part of London Tech Week.

The TERN is a social enterprise that helps to support and develop businesses created by refugees.

World Refugee Day is on Thursday 20 June 2019. This year’s theme encourages people to “take a step with refugees”. As a UN international day, it’s an opportunity to highlight issues that are important for society globally.

Running from 10-14 June 2019, London Tech Week offers the global tech industry an opportunity to meet and connect in London, with the aim of promoting technology as a force for positive change in society and business.

During the event, Dorsey interviewed three of the entrepreneurs (Muzzaffar, Naglaa and Usman) who are working with TERN and using Square’s card payment tools in their businesses.

The hour-long discussion invited entrepreneurs in the translation and hospitality sectors to talk about the key issues they encountered when they decided to start their own companies, including different challenges and their five-year predictions.

The panel went on to discuss the differences between their home countries and the UK as an environment for nurturing entrepreneurialism, including the working hours and conditions, stability, and the range of markets. The entrepreneurs then explained what their technology needs are, as well as the impact of being able to take card payments.

Finally, audience members put questions to the entrepreneurs, including what their best moments have been, as well as the connection between starting a business and integrating into UK society.

On advice for new entrepreneurs, Naglaa, Naglaa’s World, advised: “to be patient, persistent and optimistic; to search [for] opportunities, and never give up”.

Naglaa went on to say “… it’s very important that you grasp opportunities because there are many facilities, lots of opportunities in this country, it’s the land of opportunities. There is lots of help out there, there is lots of support out there, you just need to access it, and to be resilient, and strong; not to give up.”

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Scarlett writes for the energy and HR sections of the site, as well as managing the Just Started profiles. Scarlett is passionate about championing equality and sustainability in business.
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