Germany opened its doors to refugees and supported them to start a new life in their new home. A part of this support are a few organizations that raced to help refugees and especially the entrepreneurs among them to support their projects and ideas and developing it to become functioning businesses. Perhaps one of the most successful of them is SINGA Business Lab, which is based in Berlin.
About SINGA Business Lab
SINGA Business Lab is one of the initiatives of the SINGA organization which was founded in 2012 in Paris. Since then, SINGA France has been successful in creating an international network of participants, and it can now be found in France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the UK, Canada and Switzerland. All of these organization have shared values but are adapted to suit their local needs.
SINGA Business Lab presents support and valuable information to entrepreneurs in order to develop and polish their ideas and walk them step by step to turn their ideas into businesses.
SINGA Business Lab includes an amazing team that introduces entrepreneurs to advisors and consultants of old entrepreneurs. This is in a addition to various workshops that last months, during which entrepreneurs acquire knowledge of various fields of business development, prototyping, marketing and legal issues.
So far, SINGA Business Lab has helped 12 projects over the past two years. We picked five Syrian projects in Germany that we will discuss in what follows.
Successful Startups Syrian refugees established in Germany
When Raafat Hantoush was a child, he got lost from his parents for two hours during which his parents were fearful and anxious. So when he grew up, he thought to avoid this fate for other children and their parents. He created a new easy way to track children by their parents that he called Bote.
Raafat Hantoush is a Syrian engineer and entrepreneur. He worked as a data analyst in Germany before he left his job to pursue entrepreneurship. He preferred the rocky road of entrepreneurship to the easy, comfortable desk job.
Bote is a smart shoe insole for children such that their parents would be able to track their children and have a peace of mind. Bote is special because of its a ability to stay hidden, comfortable and hard to lose when compared to other tracking devices. Bote won the Jusoor International Competition for projects in 2018 and is officially registered in Germany.
Bote relies on the Internet of things, and so it plants a small chip in an insole that has provides comfort for children. The chip sends notifications to parents once their child has left a certain radius. It is designed such that it would protect the child’s privacy as it does not collect or share information and allows parents only to know their children’s location at any moment.
The project attracted many investors and Raafat is now negotiating with investors to reach the best offer.
For more information visit Bote’s official website.
The online education sector is constantly evolving, and many have found it a sufficient replacement for tradition education. It provides freedom in choosing learning times and is mostly free, let alone all the other benefits that have attracted many respected universities to adopt this approach to education, giving us an insight on the bright future it holds.
This was the starting point for the Syrian entrepreneur Fadi Al-Shalabi, who holds a Phd in business management, to start his project Niuversity, which is an educational platform through the internet aiming to teach practical and professional skills in a lively and interactive way in the Arabic language.
Niuversity depends on the concept of virtual classroom, which provides a bridge of communication between teachers and students, as well as among students themselves. Niuversity adopted this approach after the research its done, which proved that students require the guidance that is lacking from other platforms.
Niuversity provides its lessons in Arabic and focuses on teaching professional skills required in the job market through a group of teachers and trainers who have extensive experience in the field.
Niuversity started with strong and firm steps on its way to become one of the most important online learning platforms. You can see the professionalism in the platform’s website itself as well as its strategic partnerships with leading institutions such as Pearson International and Cisco Networking Academy.
In 2017, Niuversity obtained reliability from the German government and in 2018 it received the Comenius-EduMedia award for its efforts in creating online learning solutions in the Arab world.
For more information you can visit Niuversity official website.
Easy Language Lab
It is also an online learning project, but specialises in teaching the English language. Easy Language Lab is considered a platform for teaching English in various fields at reasonable prices. This project aims to help people in the middle east especially where the lack of English language skills hinders career development for Arab youth.
The platform provides a wide range of services, teaching English is only one of them. Students can prepare for the IELTS exam with the help of the platform’s teachers or request special translation in a specific topic. The platform also offers grammar check and editing services.
This project was started by Abdullatif Al-Mallouhi and Narjis Al-Azm. You can visit the website for more details.
Said Al-Hilani, Ghaiiath Nashid and Ismail Najar thought of transferring the Syrian cuisine experience to Germany and specifically Berlin. They started their project Bab Al-Jinan together to deliver the Aleppan and Syrian food experience to Germany to introduce them to a very important part of Syria’s civilization and culture.
Bab Al-Jinan provides traditional food in a modern way. Its products are considered very traditional and unique, yet are presented in a very non-traditional manner and carry the modern spirit.
You can try Bab Al-Jinan’s food in markets and cultural festivals and various events in Berlin. Their aim is to present the Syrian culture through food and hospitality.
Aram Craft presents handcrafted products from Syria, such as mosaics, body beauty products and ceramics to European markets. In doing that, it is delivering an essential part of the Syrian culture and introducing it to the European society.
All of Aram Craft’s products are handmade by Syrian women who recently arrived tand receive a fair portion of the profit. Thus, this project is providing job opportunities to women who might otherwise possess little skill. It allows them to integrate in the job market very quickly.
The project works through the management of crafting workshops by its founders Ghada Al-Qotb and Rabab Badin. It aims to present the beautiful bright image of the Syrian heritage.
You can find many of their products at their Facebook page.