Match is an online service for helping refugees create their first CV suitable for Finnish job market. The information is shared safely with Startup Refugees volunteers, which can then efficiently search through a profile database to match refugees with potential Finnish employers, startups or other professional opportunities.
Mustafa, Camilla & the Startup Refugees team are on a mission to realize the immense human potential of refugees in Finland, most of which is now wasted on just waiting for a decision.
Startup Refugees is a non-profit voluntary network supporting refugees with employment and entrepreneurship. It has created a low-cost model for fast-track employment and entrepreneurship for refugees.
Instead of the wait and bickering, Startup Refugees is actively searching for the potential of newcomers and matching it with relevant network members.
Photo: Miikka Pirinen
Initial workshops with Startup Refugees helped identify the main needs: a proper profile database and search for the office volunteers to do matchmaking, a way to generate cv's in pdf format from existing profiles and a way for refugees to enter their own profiles, without needing volunteer visits to do it. On top of this, the security of the system was a top priority, as this was highly sensitive data we were dealing with.
We then created design prototypes and further iterated with Startup Refugees to better nail down some of the details. We tested data entry forms with refugees and learned what could be improved there. We were then ready for development.
The first part of development was done in spring 2017 by Haaga Helia students via a course collaboration, under our guidance. After the end of the course, we continued the work through summer and autumn, taking it to production level. Data migrations and especially security needs put extra pressure on the initial schedule, causing delays. However we pulled through and now have launched a set of tools that are top notch security and user experience.
A second course collaboration with Haaga Helia contributed to Match in autumn 2017, with specific features and needed improvements. At the time of this writing we are doing final reviewing and testing of the students' work, before integrating it into the live solution.
The service will allow all refugees in Finland to create their work profile and share it safely with Startup Refugees. On the other end, volunteers will have an easy time searching for profiles, matching people to opportunities and generating CVs to send to employers.
The service is being announced and launched officially in January 2018. We will measure impacts better then. Stay tuned!
First, we will finish the final touches and iterate these tools until they help Startup Refugees reach the efficiency they were aiming for. Our hope then is for similar NGOs or even governments from other European countries to copy the Startup Refugees model and start matching refugees to local opportunities as soon as they enter the country. When this happens, these NGOs or governments will have a solid, free, open source solution to build upon for supporting their work.