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May 20, 2020

New COVID-19 Survival Guide for Refugee Businesses

A living guide to support refugee entrepreneurs through the global economic shutdown.

Startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are undoubtedly the sector most affected by the global economic slowdown due to COVID-19. Without the financial safety nets that larger corporations have to fall back on, already paper-thin margins have crippled many small businesses. Predictions suggest that as many as 7.5 million in the US alone could close their doors permanently after the crisis.

The situation is even more grave for refugee-owned businesses, who already face various barriers to doing business in hosting nations, such as restrictive labour laws, inability to open bank accounts and language barriers.

With 25 years of supporting refugee entrepreneurs to start and grow their own companies during crises, SPARK is no stranger to the challenges they face. As such, we’re proud to launch our new COVID-19 Survival Guide for Refugee Businesses.

The Survival Guide, in English and Arabic, is available open-source for all startups and SMEs struggling in the wake of the global pandemic. With chapters on strengthening your team and operation, improving your market position, defending against revenue declines and case studies, the easy-to-apply knowledge can assist much-needed businesses to survive and overcome the pandemic. 

As the situation is ever-evolving, the Survival Guide is considered a ‘living’ document and will be continuously updated and revised with further important support for refugee entrepreneurs. The guide was prepared by Ahmad Sufian Bayram, a Syrian social entrepreneur and author with over nine years of experience in business development.

The Survival Guide is made possible with the support of our partners, Islamic Development Bank and the Sheikh Abdullah Al Nouri Charity Society.