People

Refugee Company

Refugee Company’s mission is to empower refugees. Refugee Company believes work is the best tool to integration because through work, refugees can blend with their society and build up a new meaningful life in the Netherlands. Refugee Company wants to speed up integration by placing people in the centre of society directly upon arrival. They help refugees to build a strong network, develop a portfolio, gain work experience, as to be ready to set up a business or find a paid job. Refugee Company wants to create spaces where refugees feel at home, can network with non-refugees and develop their talents.

The close vicinity to the refugee centre was key to the motivation of Refugee Company to settle in Lola Lik. They aim to connect the inhabitants of the centre to the outside world by opening up the StartUpKitchen and a craft room. Fares Al-Qadi has worked for several NGO’s in Syria and has now taken on the management of the Refugee’s Company’s craft room. This will be an open space where refugees can use their skills to make and, eventually, sell their products.

In the former production kitchen of Bijlmerbajes prison, Syrian entrepreneur Jay Asad will be running Startup Kitchen. Jay was the owner of several restaurants, a hotel and specialty donut shops in Damascus. In The Netherlands, he coached entrepreneurs with a refugee background. Starting January, he will support food entrepreneurs in setting up their businesses.

Together with tailors from the refugee centre, Refugee Company will launch a new shirt brand: Op Maat Gemaakt. The workshop will be located in Lola Lik, where everyone can drop by to have their tailored shirts measured. Starting January, the shirts can be ordered from the Refugee Company web shop.

Several unique products are being designed and produced in the sewing room and screen printing workshop.