Refugees in Colorado
Finding hope through supportive communities
In 2016, the United Nations called for U.S. business schools to help facilitate the integration of refugees into local economies, and the University of Colorado and University of Denver heeded the call.
CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business convened a regional summit on refugee issues, bringing together NGOs, refugees, businesses, banks, government entities and nine regional business schools. Positive outcomes included connecting refugees to employers for jobs as well as connecting refugee entrepreneurs with banks for microloans. Summit presenters also demonstrated to attending business schools how programs that help integrate refugees into the local economy could be created in their schools.
Daniel’s College of Business is helping the refugee community become successful students and workers through its Ready for American Hospitality (RAH) program, which offers refugees a chance to study 100 hours of kitchen skills and assists them to integrate into local economies through education that often leads to jobs. The program, which has an 86 percent post graduation employment rate and a 90 percent, 90-day job retention rate was developed collaboratively with the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management and the African Community Center.
Also spotlighted in this report is Michelle Lasnier, founder, R Bazaar, who supports refugees with their entrepreneurial projects through business support and pop-up markets.