Zharity just helped 10 refugees to get their first job in the Nordic country via Newjob this week, and by mid-summer the startup expects the number to reach 50.
Zharity is a social enterprise, an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being.
More than 30,000 asylum seekers arrived Finland in 2015, nearly ten-fold the figure of the previous year. Before the authority reaches decision upon their applications, these newcomers will be entitled the right to work 90 days after their registration with the police. This situation leaves room for innovation and entrepreneurship, which could help tackle the challenge the society and the refugee people face.
However, to find the legal passage to get these newly immigrated people paid is the issue that follows – most refugee people have difficulty getting bank accounts in Finland. In collaboration with Moni, Zharity empowers refugee workers so that they could receive salaries through prepaid credit cards offered by the personal banking company.
Founded by Perttu Isotalo last November, the team has learned and grown with the refugee community as they try to figure out the most acceptable way to approach the clients they serve. For example, instead of asking job-seekers to contact employers directly, Zharity simply asked users to upload their personal information to their CV bank and leave the rest for them. Also, they found out that the refugees are more used to Facebook than email.
“Our Facebook likes almost doubled from 700 to 1500 within the past three weeks, and we hardly started campaigning yet,” says Maadh Alsammarraie, COO of Zharity, who came to Finland as asylum seeker himself last August.
Taking pride in their popularity among the refugee group and the valuable data that could make latecomers envy, Zharity has been quite open to other startups and companies.
“The idea is that we want to invite people to contact us so they can work with their ideas. We have made our initiative to create a better world, and we are waiting for all companies and startups to help us achieve our goal to hire 1,000 refugees and newcomers in Finland by end of 2016,” says Maadh.