Youth employment

Reaching out to a better, creative future with entrepreneurship

The joint entrepreneurship programme of the ILO and UNHCR has continued to the second batch of young, enthusiast entrepreneurs. They were ready to develop and expand their businesses.

News | Jakarta, Indonesia | 05 February 2020
With confidence, Nashaat Jihat received his graduation certificate awarded by Kazutoshi Chatani, ILO’s Employment Specialist and Ann Maymann, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Agency (UNHCR) at the Graduation Day and Business Showcase: Entrepreneurship Class Batch 2 in Jakarta on 31 January. 

Graduates of the Graduation Day and Business Showcase: Entrepreneuership Class Batch 2
Nashaat was one of the 34 graduates of the six-month training programme for Indonesian entrepreneurs and refugees titled “Ready for Business Training” conducted by the ILO and UNHCR with support from Atma Jaya University and Dompet Dhuafa.

Nashaat was a dentist graduated from Ukraine in his home country, Iraq. However, he had to stop his dental practice when he had to take refuge to Indonesia. “I felt hopeless because I could not continue my dental practice. Through this programme I learnt a lot of things that I could do beside being a dentist. This programme have opened a new door for me as an entrepreneur,” he said with optimism.

Nashaat Jihat shared his entrepreneurship dream

Greater access to economy and livelihoods is very crucial for the refugees. This pilot project might be small in scale but it is an important initial step. The ILO continue to support efforts taken by the Government of Indonesia to develop regulations that enable refugees to be economically active."

Kazutoshi Chatani, ILO’s Employment Specialist
The life story of Nashaat is a common life story of more than 14,000 refugees in Indonesia. Thus, Kazutoshi Chatani reminded the participants of the event about the hardship endured by refugees. Not only they had to leave behind their lives, occupations, properties and countries due to natural disaster, conflict and violence, they also had to start building a new life in a foreign country.

"Greater access to economy and livelihoods is very crucial for the refugees. This pilot project might be small in scale but it is an important initial step. The ILO continue to support efforts taken by the Government of Indonesia to develop regulations that enable refugees to be economically active,” Kazutoshi remarked.

Representatives from the Indonesian Refugee Task Force, UNHCR, ILO, Dompet Dhuafa and Atma Jaya University showcased product samples of the graduates

To date all refugees in this country have merged and blended with local communities. They are now part of the society. In terms of issues related to their economic empowerment, we are now waiting for guidelines from the Ministry of Manpower. We believe refugees can contribute their talents, skills and knowledge for the benefits of local communities."

Chairul Anwar, Head of Refugee Task Force as the representative of Indonesian government
Chairul Anwar, Head of Refugee Task Force as the representative of Indonesian government, emphasized that Indonesia has prioritize both the interest of the country and of the humanitarian. These priorities have led to the establishment of the Refugee Task Force in 2012.

“To date all refugees in this country have merged and blended with local communities. They are now part of the society. In terms of issues related to their economic empowerment, we are now waiting for guidelines from the Ministry of Manpower. We believe refugees can contribute their talents, skills and knowledge for the benefits of local communities,” he stated.

Meanwhile for Indonesian participants and facilitators, this programme has given them new experiences and opportunities to interact with the refugees. “I have learnt about life, survival and determination. And I will continue to coaching them, ensuring that they can maintain businesses they have started in partnership with the Indonesian entrepreneurs,” said Ahmad Rifki, one of the facilitators.

At the end of this programme, nine business proposals were developed. During the graduation day, the graduates showcased and exhibited their business products, ranging from snacks, handy-crafts, culinary and garments. The graduates brought the uniqueness of their home countries to their products, such as Karebat cookies from Ethiopia and knitted bags from Afghanistan.

Angel Walangitan exhibited her helmed head covers
Angel Walangitan, one of Indonesian graduates, exhibited her helmet head covers sourced from re-purposed clothing like denim. She has built a joint business with two other partners she met in this entrepreneurship programme: Alda Chrisvantina, an accounting student, and Fahim, a self-taught artist who took refuge in Indonesia back in 2013. “I am excited to continue our partnership and to expand our business.”