PRESS RELEASE FROM HELLO FUTURE

Hello Future Set to Launch Small Business Incubator for Refugee Youth

Posted Apr 28, 2021

New York, April 28, 2021 – International education organization Hello Future is preparing to launch the first-ever small business incubator for refugee teens as part of its 2021 course offerings.

Hello Future is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the refugee youth experience from alone, stuck and forgotten to connected and empowered. Working with teens living in refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan, its integrated curriculum combines 21st-century skills that U.S. schools are still in the process of adopting. 

The capstone to Hello Future’s series of courses is its new Small Business Incubator for Refugees. This is a radical departure from existing skills-training programs where the focus is on training the refugees in a single trade, such as sewing. What Hello Future has designed is essentially a condensed MBA program -- with portable, transferable knowledge that can withstand changes in market conditions and is irrespective of where the refugee student finds their home.

Much like a standard MBA program, students will learn from case studies of existing businesses and flesh out a viable business plan for their ideas, complete with competitor analysis, ideal customer profile and marketing plan. The incubator will also provide mentorship opportunities with business leaders to help guide the students. Upon graduation, each student will be awarded a small grant to help them jump-start their business.

“Being a refugee does not diminish a person’s ability to dream big dreams, but it does severely limit their access to the education and opportunities they need to achieve that dream. We want to offer our students those missing steps and build a 21st-century model for self-reliance,”  said Hello Future Executive Director Charlie Grosso. “With expert mentorship and an innovative curriculum, our new Small Business Incubator for Refugees will afford our students the opportunity to turn their dreams and business ideas into a reality -- thereby helping to lift them and their families out of the camps and into a more stable, self-reliant future.”

Hello Future has developed an intensive program taught by local instructors in the students’ native language, where refugee youth learn essential digital technology skills; gain psychosocial support; entrepreneurship; critical thinking; and storytelling skills.

To date, Hello Future’s impact includes a 100% program retention rate and an average 89% graduation rate. Post-session student surveys show a 56% increase in positive beliefs about the future, with 97% of students saying that what they learned in Hello Future’s program will be helpful in getting a better job.

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Founded in 2016, Hello Future is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization working with Syrian refugees in the Middle East. It provides in-person courses led by local instructors that teach adolescent refugee youth the essential digital, business, and creative skills needed to create the next generation of entrepreneurs and community leaders. Learn more at www.hellofuture.io.