Research

Relentless:
Syrian Refugee Entrepreneurship in Host Countries

One year on: Almost 9 out of 10 Syrian refugee businesses are hit hard by COVID-19

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9 out of 10 Syrian Businesses are hit hard

9 out of 10 Syrian Businesses are hit hard

Here's what's inside

The Damages of the Pandemic

Marking one year since lockdown was imposed by governments in the Middle East to curb the spread of COVID-19, new research by Jusoor and Spark has revealed the extent of the damage that the pandemic has inflicted on Syrian small and medium businesses and startups in the region.

Challenges on Small Businesses

The research is based of 271 interviews with Syrian founders, business experts, and NGO representatives to understand the impact of COVID-19 measures and identify the biggest challenges faced by Syrians in four countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.

The research reveals that:
  • Of those surveyed, 43.5% described the impact of COVID-19 as ‘extreme’
  • Of all challenges, access to a source of funds (62.9%) was the biggest challenge for Syrian businesses, followed by location and mobility restrictions (49.3%), laws and regulations (30.6%), infrastructure (30.1%), supply chain (30.1%) and finally, business knowledge (6.2%)
  • 64.8% of entrepreneurs run their business informally. Of those, 45.6% are home-based, 28.2% are SMEs, 22.8% are startups, and 3.4% are large businesses
  • SMEs came out worst off in this survey, with 51.30% saying the pandemic’s impact was extreme, followed by home-based businesses (44.4%), large enterprises (38.9%), and startups (31.4%)

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