Startup Refugees Fund

The only fund in Finland for newcomer founders

Second round of business grants is here!

Are you a newcomer entrepreneur, or desiring to be one soon? Do you have a clear business idea in your mind, and you have participated in our Business Program activities?

The second round of Startup Refugees Business grants will be shared now! Read more and apply by the 30th of September.

Donation account: FI05 1745 3000 2037 62 (BIC: NDEAFIHH). Message: "Startup Refugees Fund"

The problem

Startup Refugees has supported newcomers in finding jobs and starting businesses since 2015. 613 business teams have participated in our entrepreneurship courses and 64 companies have been established with our support. Everyday, we are blown away by the innovative business ideas and high entrepreneurial spirit of newcomers.

But. The fact is that underrepresented founders struggle to get funding. Most funding still goes to the three white guys in the garage. Only 3 % of seed venture funding goes to female-only founded startups in Europe, while only 1 % of tech founders self-identify as Black, Caribbean, or African.

As for any startup, the first years of running a business are extremely hard. But for newcomer founder is almost impossible.

We see a problem.

Our solution

We believe that refugees and other newcomers bring huge economic and human potential to Finland. This is why we have established the Startup Refugees Fund which offers support for newcomer founders.

Every donation to the fund matters.

The fund is for everyone who believes that the Finnish startup ecosystem needs more diversity and inclusion. The founders and teams receiving the funding are from the Startup Refugees Business Program and have a promising business idea or a running business but are not attracting investors yet.

The recipients of the funding are selected by an external jury which consists of Startup Refugees network members, individuals and experienced newcomer entrepreneurs.

Meet some of our Founders

Already 550 teams have participated in Startup Refugees Business Program.
Anna, Robert and Jaisal are one of them.

Anna Sambou

Founder of Heemlig
Heemlig is an on-demand online platform that connects households with local professionals to provide in-home services.

"Being an immigrant should not limit you from becoming a successful entrepreneur. Finland is my second home, and I want to contribute to the economic growth of the country through my business and by creating more jobs."

Robert Ngenzi

Founder of Yomonitor
Yomonitor helps advertisers monitor, collect, and analyze their radio and TV advertising efforts and optimize their campaigns.

"It has been hard to get the funding as a immigrant founder in Finland. Even though I've created a successful business with the support of Startup Refugees, I need investors to scale bigger."

Jaisal Ashraf

Founder of Easy Walk
Easy Walk helps visually impaired people to navigate and have easy access to common facilities.

"I'm currently in the formation stage of my startup and looking for investors to grow the idea into a real product. Even though I have tons of technical expertise, I've struggled to find partners and investors in Finland. But I keep a positive spirit; the business idea is great and has potential for a huge impact."


Why support


We cannot offer you a touching story of a refugee as a powerless victim in need of charity or a picture of asylum seekers in a rubber boat. You have probably seen it too many times. So have we. Still, we can promise that every single donation to the Startup Refugees Fund matters.

With your donation (big or small), we can support newcomers in building a life in Finland and offer assistance in the challenging situation of early newcomer founders. Donations help underrepresented founders who want to live an independent life and create a business in a new home country.

That's why we would love to invite you to become our supporter. By following us on social media, you can see how the teams receiving the fund progress.


The Startup Refugees Fund is for pioneering companies that want to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Donating to the Fund is a great way to bring these topics alive and communicate your values internally and externally.

The companies donating to the Fund get their logo to the Fund webpage and can use ours in their communication. They can be invited to a jury that evaluates the business ideas of Startup Refugees business teams and receive information about interesting startups being born in Startup Refugees Business Program.

Startup Refugees is also constantly looking for partners and ready to build a tailored CSR or Diversity & Inclusion program related to Startup Refugees Fund. Just give a bell to us and let's plan it together!

collected to spark a change


The Startup Refugees Fund is administrated by Startup Refugees, a Finnish non-profit organization supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in entrepreneurship and employment. The non-profit association behind Startup Refugees is called Phoenix ra and it holds a money collection permit that allows collecting donations in Finland. Startup Refugees has a six years history of supporting newcomers in starting businesses and Startup Refugees Fund is the latest innovation of the association.  

The funding is meant for all current and aspiring newcomer entrepreneurs who have participated in Startup Refugees Business Program. The application period of the first round of funding is 5-30.9.2022, and the announcement of the recipients will be in November 2022.

In the first round the recipients of the fund are decided by a jury consisting of Startup Refugees team members.


Want to find out more?