Why Give a Job?
Give a job was started out of the need to do something to help the sustainable integration of refugees and asylum seekers in Norway. We were trying to help by handing out warm clothing and food, but realized that there was a need for something more sustainable that could have a deeper societal impact. An acquaintance of Aiman Shaqura, Chris Rynning, had developed a job-searching app called Mojob, and wanted to use the technology behind this to benefit newly arrived refugees. This turned into the app “Give a Job” (now integrated within the Mojob app). We realized that this could develop into an actual physical concept that could help others. It would be based on the principle that by bringing people together, we can break down boundaries, stereotypes and labels, and enable meaningful connections. We decided to create this meeting place: A place where people can meet at the same level, find a common ground, and develop long lasting and substantial connections. At the same time, through the event, public and private sectors and startups will be encouraged to hire refugees, promoting diversity and inclusion of our new citizens in the workspace.
Creating special experiences
Give a job creates special experiences for both participants (refugees and asylum seekers) and employers. We want companies to get actual value from attending. Events are held in great locations, with great food and entertainment and hosted by celebrities. These factors removes communication barriers and makes it easier for participants to pitch themselves to potential employers.
Our first event took place in Trondheim in December 2015. We were uncertain about many factors, but the passion and the drive was there. Clarion Hotel partnered with us and together with other enthusiastic volunteers we pulled off a successful event. We had over 500 people in attendance, and 15 people got jobs as a result. The success motivated us to have another event.
Our second event took place in Stavanger in September 2016. Despite warnings (Stavanger has the highest unemployment rate in Norway), we took what we had our learned from the previous event, and partnered with Hero (an organisation that assists with the reception and integration of asylum seekers) and succeeded again. More than 10 participants got called in for interviews and 8 were employed.
Our third event in Kristiansand October 2016 was another success. We applied our learnings from the previous two events and again had great results.
The future of Give a Job
Give a Job has many exciting projects in store for the future. Now that we know our concept works and that there is a need for such arenas around the country, we have set bigger goals. In 2017, we have a target of getting over 100 people into employment. Our next event will be held in Oslo, January 23rd 2017, and this event will be different from the others. We will collaborate with other social entrepreneurs that are also engaged in integration projects targeting refugees and asylum seekers. At future events we will also invite educational institutions, to make this arena an opportunity hub increasing knowledge and inspiration for personal growth.
We are also working on a digital platform that can provide newly arrived refugees with important services in one place. In addition to finding jobs that suit their skills and qualifications, they will better navigate through a digital place where they can access the information, networks and connections needed to efficiently integrate in a new society.
Give a Job is a young but ambitious social enterprise. To offer sustainable solutions, we need to become sustainable ourselves. At the moment we rely on funding and donations but are evaluating business models that can be relevant for us. We will be charging a small fee for attendance at our next event as our service offers both tangible and intangible benefits. Our digital platform can also provide a vital solution to a growing social problem. A solution that both private and public sector organisations will potentially be willing to pay for.
At the moment, Give a Job is led by serial entrepreneur Aiman Shaqura and a couple of hard working volunteers. According to Aiman:
“For me Give a Job is a new and fulfilling experience that aligns with my beliefs and values. I don’t want to live to work or work to live, I want to be a free person doing what I really enjoy. To live a meaningful life, you don’t have to wait. You just need to seize the day! Carpe Diem!”
Be a part of Give a Job
By creating these unique experiences for refugees and asylum seekers, we also show them that they are regarded as equal and important members of our society. We show them that we are willing to help, not only by providing them with opportunities to find employment but also by helping to change public perception. To create this change we need more help. Give a Job is currently seeking other passionate volunteers who share our values and beliefs. Contact us today and become a part of our social revolution!
Av Faye Mayrhoo