Addressing inequalities and accelerating SDGs


Middle East

Embark is a "reverse mentoring" service connecting young, talented refugees with business leaders to build meaningful connections, spotlight the often overlooked potential of migrants, and explore pathways to their fuller inclusion in host economies. Our vision is a future where refugees are acknowledged and well-integrated as vital contributors to host economies. Embark developed through partnership between the business sector and refugee advocacy groups in Turkey, with initial funding from Unilever. The concept emerged from workshops with members of Turkey's Syrian diaspora, who cited misinformation and wrong assumptions about refugees' skills and education as a central impediment to securing meaningful work there. Business leaders have much to learn about refugees’ value and how this demographic can be integrated into the workforce. Embark allows refugees themselves to “mentor” these leaders in how to build a more inclusive work environment. In return, these refugee mentors also gain first-hand work experience and career guidance. And by widely broadcasting the outcomes of the project, Embark helps reshape narratives about refugees’ economic value. Following a successful pilot this spring, Embark has scaled to include more companies in a second cohort beginning in Turkey this fall. Its next step is an expansion in 2019 to more countries with large refugee populations that face work discrimination and are held back from contributing fully to their communities.