Startups Without Borders (SWB) is a social enterprise connecting migrants, refugees and local entrepreneurs to educational opportunities

Facts & Figures
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  • Location: Egypt
  • Alfanar SE Since: 2021
  • Total Alfanar Grant: £9,982
  • Social Impact Target: 900 refugees trained
  • Website:
  • SDGs:

The Challenge

Over time, a growing number of refugees and migrants have launched their own business initiatives, with the hopes of improving their livelihoods and those of their community. In Egypt, nearly 2,000 new factories have been set up by Syrian entrepreneurs since the war commenced, employing a vast number of local hosts. Yet, despite possessing a strong entrepreneurial drive, refugees often lack access and knowledge to resources that could strengthen their business-like incubators, accelerators or investment opportunities.   

The Organisation

Startups Without Borders (SWB) was launched by journalist, Valentina Primo, to shed light on the innovation and ability of refugees and migrants to lead change. SWB is a social enterprise that works as a hub to build startup ecosystems, pioneered by refugees and local entrepreneurs, through the provision of resources, networking, mentorship, training, investment and building partnerships.   

SWB provides immigrant entrepreneurs support through training bootcamps, startup conferences, webinars, skills development opportunities and their annual summit. Since their launch three years ago they have trained over 1,500 entrepreneurs through online training and incubation and have had over 2,300 entrepreneurs attend their events.   

Alfanar's Support: Looking Ahead

Through Alfanar's support, SWB will scale throughout Egypt to provide more than 400 refugee and local entrepreneurs with the tools, networks, and resources to build scalable businesses. We will also be supporting their Egypt chapter launch this year.  

SWB is part of our SEMD Project, a regional project initiated and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by GFA Consulting Group and Endeva.

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