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Private Sector for Refugees (PS4R) looks at four main areas where business can engage with refugees: entrepreneurship, investment, employment, and products & services. The PS4R partners have elaborated a Charter of Good Practice around these themes to help ensure the successful economic integration of refugees.

Charter of Good Practice on the Role of the Private Sector in Economic Integration of Refugees

The Charter is conceived as practical guidelines on how the private sector can facilitate refugee integration into host community economies, and how policymakers and practitioners can enable the private sector to play a stronger role in the economic integration of refugees. It outlines 20 principles around the four key themes: entrepreneurship, investment, employment, and products & services. The Charter was drafted at the first PS4R conference in Paris in June 2019, with the collaboration of more than 200 experts and practitioners.


“Many refugees are starting their businesses as they are hungry to make it work. The desire has more to do with a will to win and less to do with a percentage game. For them, it is a survival game” – Ahmad Sufian Bayram, Author of Entrepreneurship in Exile

For refugees, entrepreneurship is often the first and most direct route to integration and self-reliance. Arriving to the host countries with often limited resources, networks and local knowledge, refugees face many obstacles to set up their businesses in their new homes. The Charter offers five principles to promote refugee entrepreneurship as means to increase economic growth:

  • INTEGRATION: Entrepreneurship is an important mechanism to advance economic integration
  • REGULATION: Entrepreneurship requires a clear, transparent and non-discriminatory legal and regulatory environment, which enables host and refugee businesses to take off quickly and thrive in an inclusive and sustainable fashion
  • CAPACITY BUILDING: Entrepreneurship support programs inclusive of newcomer and local entrepreneurs alike can help close education and skills gaps as well as address adaptive challenges
  • FINANCING: Refugee-driven and refugee-oriented startups and enterprises require greater access to and promotion among private financiers
  • NETWORKING: Networks of diverse support partners and functions facilitate business creation and contribution to economic growth of forcibly displaced people and host communities

To see the principles in full, please download the Charter of Good Practice.


“Investors often know why they should invest in refugees – they don’t know how” – Tim Docking, Managing Director, Refugee Investment Network

The principles below seek to promote and deploy investments that enhance economic integration of refugees, enable inclusive growth of host economies, and benefit investors and target beneficiaries alike:

  • ADDITIONALITY: Refugee-related investment contributes complementary to what is available in the market and crowds in on the private sector
  • RESILENCE: Investments contribute to the host economy’s resilience, long-term viability and growth potential through market development to counter shocks, including those caused by forced displacement
  • INCLUSION: Investment furthering the economic integration of refugees supports financial and social inclusion and benefits both the forcibly displaced and host communities
  • INSTRUMENTS: Solutions for investment, banking and access to finance for refugees and host communities are flexible and agile in order to respond and adapt adequately to the increased demand and risks inherent to a refugee-affected market configuration
  • IMPACT: Refugee-related finance and investment delivers long-term impact and is profitable and sustainable for target beneficiaries, investees and investors alike

To see the principles in full, please download the Charter of Good Practice.


“Life is a little hard, but if we do not work, we cannot live. No matter which country you are in, you cannot live if you do not work” – Yussuf Ahmet, Syrian, working in Intertim Turkey

When considering refugee employment, businesses and their representative organizations should advocate for and consider the following five principles:

  • ACCESS: Refugee talent has equitable access to larger societal structures, institutions and resources
  • LEGAL FRAMEWORK: The legal framework for employment guarantees refugees’ freedom of movement, their right to work and to receive training, to decrease their reliance on aid and help the economy of the host country tap the full potential of their skills and consumption
  • INTERMEDIATION: As social partners the employers’ representative organizations, government and trade unions play a unique intermediary role in the economic integration of refugees
  • SKILLS: Foreign qualifications and skills are assessed, recognized and levelled swiftly, efficiently and in an equitable manner
  • SOCIALISATION: Successful integration of refugees depends on insertion programs based on the local context

To see the principles in full, please download the Charter of Good Practice.

Products & Services

“It is vital to bring the private sector into the design process to deliver services to refugees, and, where it makes sense, to do so in a sustainable manner” – Sasha Kapadia, Director, Humanitarian & Development, Mastercard

When exploring, developing and implementing business models that support or include refugees the private sector should consider the following five principles:

  • ADAPTATION: Adaptive and flexible responses factor in the complexity of refugee situations and the dynamics of the interactions between the stakeholders engaged
  • SUSTAINABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: Services and products are economically and environmentally viable, ‘do no harm’ and actively seek to deliver positive social impacts for refugees
  • PARTNERSHIPS: Private groups and business affiliates, non-profit organizations, development institutions and government institutions create and sustain a level playing field for partnerships to deliver products and services to refugees
  • MARKETABILITY: Commercial viability is a prerequisite to sustain and scale a business that provides services and products to refugees
  • COMMUNICATION: Provision of adapted services and products that target refugees is communicated openly and carefully to/by all stakeholders (including refugees) to minimize risks and enhance internal and external support

To see the principles in full, please download the Charter of Good Practice.

Global partners:

Contact us at PS4R@iccwbo.org