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According to the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR), Israel has about 30,000 African refugees. Seventy-five per cent of them live below the poverty line. Only 17 of them have received a refugee card. Most refugees struggle to find work, or are only able to work illegally, therefore receiving very poor salaries and working in terrible conditions.

The establishment of small businesses is one of the most effective solutions to changing the economic status of populations living below the poverty line, such as disadvantaged refugees and immigrants.

Established in 2008 in Tel Aviv, Microfy empowers disadvantaged communities, such as refugees and asylum seekers, by offering business training, technical assistance/support, financial resources and small business start-up funding.

Andrea Kruchik Krell and Lauren Isaacs, co-founders of Microfy, will discuss the success of two former human rights activists from DR Congo, Faida Bakaji Tshuma and Maria Jose Kanag, who founded a nursery that received the 2010 PlaNet Finance Microfinance Award.

About the speakers

Lauren Isaacs is co-founder and project coordinator of Microfy. Andrea Kruchik-Krell founded Microfy in 2008. 

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