R Ventures Forum



An Action Agenda for Refugee Entrepreneurship

On June 22, 2018, R Ventures Forum gathered over 150 key stakeholders in Berlin for an allday conference to engage refugee entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, and global partners on the urgent topic of how to create an effective ecosystem of support for refugee entrepreneurship in Europe and beyond. Expert panelists and audience members identified actionable solutions to challenges that refugees face in starting their own businesses. The focus was on identifying what the private sector, public sector, media, and refugees themselves can do to face these challenges and enact change. With an emphasis on taking action, several private and public sector investors announced exciting new, concrete commitments in support of refugee entrepreneurs at the event. The Forum opened with an address by Shantanu Prakash, founder of the R Ventures Foundation (RVF) and featured keynotes by Archish Mittal, Executive Director of RVF, and Dr. Henrik Syse, Member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The diverse panelists were refugee entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses in the technology, language learning, and service sectors, on to companies such as Ameria, Linklaters, and Bayer that are helping refugee entrepreneurs to thrive. Participants heard from leaders of cities such as Heidelberg, multilateral institutions such as the EU Madaad Fund, and various refugee impact organizations on how public policy can facilitate refugee entrepreneurship.

Prominent media organizations including Deutsche Welle, Thomson Reuters, and Al Arabiya, discussed how to change the narrative to highlight financial independence and selfreliance for refugees. In addition to announcing specific commitments to support refugee entrepreneurship, the Forum produced an Action Agenda to guide stakeholders in various sectors. The Action Agenda provides concrete recommendations, as well as connections to programs, networks, and funders in order to enable stakeholders at the confluence of industry, public policy, academia, media and philanthropy to take action.

Archish Mittal Executive Director
In Support of Refugee Entrepreneurship
An Action Agenda from the Inaugural R Ventures Forum, June 22, 2018

On June 22, 2018, the R Ventures Forum gathered over 150 key stakeholders in Berlin for an all day conference to connect refugee entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, and global partners on the urgent topic of how to enable the most positive ecosystem possible for refugee entrepreneurship in Europe and beyond. Amongst the speakers, panelists and audience were prominent business leaders, policymakers, refugee entrepreneurs and journalists.

What the Public Sector Can Do To Support Refugee Entrepreneurship

01.Speed up processing of refugees applications for status and/or registrations to start their own businesses.
02.Give refugees the right to work and reunite their families.
03.Support opportunities for work, study, and entrepreneurship that are focused on the longterm.
Role of Policy Makers in Impacting Refugees Moderator Ali Aslan, TV Presenter and Journalist
Nadim Karkutli
Manager, EU Madaad Fund
Rajita Kulkarni
President / World Forum for Ethics in Business
Sana A. Mustafa
Founder / Network for Refugee Voices
Nicole Huber
City Manager / City of Heidelberg

What the Private Sector Can Do to Support Refugee Entrepreneurship

01.Help refugee entrepreneurs to build trust with funders, partners, and customers.
02.Provide mentoring, coaching, and training.
03.Provide access to networks and seed capital.
Role of the Private Sector to Develop a Refugee Support Ecosystem, Moderator Daniela Kaisth
Pieter Riemer
Shantanu Prakash
Founder / R Ventures Foundation
Albrecht Metter
CEO/Ameria GmbH
Thimo V. Schmitt-Lord
CEO/BAYER Foundations
Daniela Kaisth
Founder & President/Gratias

What We Can All Do to Support Refugee Entrepreneurs

Stop labeling refugees, connect on a personal level, be a critical thinker, and remember the inherent dignity of all members of the human family.
What We Can All Do to Support Refugee Entrepreneurs, Moderator Daniela Kaisth
Sina Azizi
Co-Founder / Future Invest
Mursal Hedayat
Founder / Chatterbox
Ahmad Sufian Bayram
MENA Regional Manager / Techstars
Omar Alshafai
Co-Founder / Bureaucrazy
Archish Mittal
Executive Director / R Ventures Foundation

What the Media Can Do To Change Refugee Narratives

01.Share stories of refugee success and positive impact.
02.Train refugees in how to effectively tell their stories to the media.
03.Provide internships for refugees to work at news organizations.
Role of the Media in Shaping Refugee Narratives, Moderator Matt Pickles, BBC
Matt Pickles
BBC News
Lee Mannion
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Apoorva Mittal
Author / Blogger
Mayssoun Azzam
Al Arabiya
Christian Trippe
Deutsche Welle

New Beginnings Incubator

R Ventures Foundation and the city of Heidelberg , Germany announced at the conclusion of the event the establishment of a Refugee Business Incubator in Heidelberg.

Nicole Huber (City Manager , Heidelberg) with Shantanu Prakash (Founder, R VenturesFoundation) announcing the refugee incubator in Heidelberg.

Dr. Henrik Syse, Vice-Chair , Norwegian Nobel Committee speaking about the 4th Industrial Revolution and dignity of human life.

R Ventures Foundation Videos