“The main challenge everyone faces as a refugee is that they cannot legally establish a company or register a company unless – and here’s the opportunity – unless they partner with a local founder. This is where we come in,” says Valentina Primo, founder of Startups Without Borders, which connects refugee entrepreneurs and migrant entrepreneurs with relevant resources across the Middle East and Europe.
Through an online platform, events and media, “We want to tell the stories of the next generation of role models. Those migrant entrepreneurs whose journey was not only starting over with their lives but starting a new company, a new initiative,” Valentina tells womena in this candid interview.
After moving to Egypt in 2013, she started reporting on entrepreneurship and was inspired to focus on refugee entrepreneurs, eventually launching her own startup to help support and connect this growing network in the region.
“Talent doesn’t have a nationality. Drive, passion doesn’t have a nationality, so why are we limiting ourselves or why are we not doing anything to change the system?” says Valentina, adding that this was the mission driving her to pursue her passion.