Match made in Startup Refugees

#Refugees
#Human Rights
#Profile Database
#CV Generation
#Security

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.

https://match.startuprefugees.com

Customer

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

Challenge

Within 6 months of activity, Startup Refugees had already collected an impressive amount of refugee work profiles, with the help and dedication of volunteers from their network. However, their tools had been built over a weekend: a set of webforms for collecting the data, a script to turn it into Excel sheets and all manual Excel work from there. Even though amazing results for one weekend worth of work, the technical solution was reaching its limits: depending only on volunteer group visits to asylum centers for data collection created bottlenecks and inconsistencies in the data; using Excel as a database made the matching process very painful and slow for volunteers back in the office. Better tools were needed to make Startup Refugees' matching work more efficient.

Approach

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.

Impact

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!

What next

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.

Project contributors

Startup Refugees

Camilla Naatus
Product Owner
Startup Refugees
Mustafa Abdulameer
Product Owner
Startup Refugees
Elisa Vepsäläinen
QA, PO support
Startup Refugees
Veera Pitkänen
QA, PO support
Startup Refugees
Arkan Aal-Uweef
QA, PO support
Startup Refugees
Camilla Jokela
QA, PO support
Startup Refugees

Futurice

Susanna Hyötyläinen
Development, project management and communication
Futurice
Kristiina Rahikainen
Development
Futurice
Markku Rikola
Development
Futurice
Luca Acito
Design, PO support
Futurice
Matias Kirvelä
Development
Futurice
Omid Hezaveh
Development
Futurice
Jon Krogell
Software architecture, sparring
Futurice
Kamil Waheed
Development, fire fighting
Futurice
Sebi Tauciuc
Coordination, sparring
Futurice
Teemu Turunen
Coordination, data migration
Futurice
Peter Tennekes
Scrum Master, sparring
Futurice
Anniina Hautala
Visual design
Futurice
Akos Krivachy
Security review
Futurice
Julien Chakra
Security review
Futurice
Azeem Akhter
Development
Futurice
Markus Koskinen
Infrastructure, deployment
Futurice
Rasmus Eskola
Development sparring
Futurice

Haaga-Helia, Spring 2017

Susanna Hyötyläinen
Development
Student
Aina Kiuru
Development
Student
Atte Liimatainen
Development, frontend
Student
Jenna Ahokas
Development, QA
Student
Jenni Kalliosto
Development, QA, PM
Student
Joni Lundgren
Development, QA
Student
Juho Keijonen
Development, QA
Student
Matias Hedenstam
Development, QA
Student
Pietari Tavela
Development, QA
Student
Sanna Ranto
Development, QA, ScrumMaster
Student
Juha Hinkula
Teacher, Lecturer
Haaha-Helia University

Haaga-Helia, Autumn 2017

Jaakko Rantala
Development, frontend
Student
Milla Laurasvaara
Development
Student
Suzan Kinnunen
Development
Student
Tiina Moisanen
Development, frontend
Student
Miikka Alatalo
Development
Student
Olli Lappalainen
Development, Scrum Master
Student
Taru Hokkanen
Frontend Development, Communications
Student
Jukka Juslin
Teacher, Senior Lecturer
Haaha-Helia University

Technology

React

A JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

Redux

A predictable state container for JavaScript apps.

Node.js

A cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment for executing JavaScript code server-side.

Typescript

A typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.

PostgreSQL

An object-relational database.

Ask more

If you are interested in this project or solution, get in touch!

Teemu Turunen

Open Source and
Social Responsibility Lead
+358407471885

Sebi Tauciuc

Designer, Social Responsibility
+358407740124