Access to cash or capital when you need it is often a challenge for small business owners, especially for refugee small business owners. In the wake of a natural disaster, this is even more complicated, yet essential to their recovery. Empowering small businesses helps local economies rebuild, provides livelihoods for families, and sustains much-needed jobs.
In order to meet this need in Türkiye after February’s devastating earthquakes, Building Markets is partnering with GiveDirectly to provide direct cash assistance to Syrian refugee-owned small business owners & employees. For entrepreneurs like Nour Al-Mushrif, it’s been a lifeline.
“Receiving the financial grant… helped ease the burden of paying salaries and other obligations, but more than that, as a refugee, I often feel like a tree without roots, uprooted and uncertain of where to turn for help. Receiving the grant gave me a sense of reassurance and safety. It reminded me that I was not alone and that there were people out there who cared about my well-being.”
Together, Building Markets and GiveDirectly are identifying over 1,000 earthquake survivors in the Building Markets network who will receive direct cash relief that will make a critical difference in their short-term survival and long-term recovery. The program prioritizes cash transfers to earthquake survivors whose homes or businesses suffered extensive damage, are extremely financially vulnerable, or have been left out of other aid programs. One of those survivors is Khaled Kaplan.
Khaled was about to launch a shoe shop in Gaziantep when the earthquake struck and left his home completely damaged. “We spent ten days in mosques and cars, afraid of the aftershocks, before we settled at my brother’s place,” he said. Access to finance as a refugee has always been hard for Khaled, so the prospect of securing the capital to launch his business after this financial loss felt overwhelming. Receiving a cash grant was a “game changer.”
“The grant arrived on my birthday, of all days, and it felt like a special gift from the universe. With the funds, I was able to pay the rent of my shop and buy inventory, making my dream of selling shoes a reality,” says Khaled. “It reminded me that even in the midst of disaster and hardship, there is always hope for a better future.”
Questions about our cash transfer program or partnering with Building Markets? Email [email protected]