Employability & Entrepreneurial Education (3Ev) Program for Refugees

Supporting Young Refugee Entrepreneurs through Education
Good Practices

Employability & Entrepreneurial Education (3Ev) Program for Refugees

Supporting Young Refugee Entrepreneurs through Education
Screenshot of a zoom meeting

The project in brief

The project is implemented by the PRME (Principles of Responsible Management Education) platform, School of Business, Monash University Malaysia. The program began on 13 July, 2021, was conducted for a period of three weeks.

The 3Ev Program for Refugees 2021 was created via a collaborative effort between UNHCR Malaysia, the Monash Malaysia School of Business PRME platform, and industry partners. Its purpose is to enable refugee youth to develop their employability and entrepreneurial skills. The idea is to deliver balanced solutions between academic opportunities and skills to meet their basic and immediate needs, simultaneously helping them build the means to generate income and better integrate into their host country.

The aim of the 3Ev Program for Refugees is to empower refugee youth by enhancing their employability and entrepreneurial skills. The program focuses on developing specific skills that are valuable in the business and workplace environment. The key objectives include:

  • Effective Communication: The program aims to improve participants' ability to communicate effectively in business conversations and office settings. This includes verbal and written communication skills, active listening, and professional etiquette.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Participants learn how to manage their emotions to ensure positive outcomes during interviews and interpersonal interactions. This includes self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to navigate challenging situations with composure.
  • Technology Skills: The program emphasizes the use of technology to improve personal branding, such as creating a professional online presence and leveraging digital platforms for networking and career development.
  • Resourcefulness and Innovation: Participants are encouraged to be resourceful and innovative in the workplace, exploring creative solutions to problems, adapting to change, and demonstrating a proactive approach to tasks and challenges.
  • Idea Generation: The program introduces idea generation techniques in a business context, fostering participants' ability to generate and develop innovative ideas for entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship within organizations.
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: Participants are guided to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, which involves cultivating traits such as resilience, risk-taking, opportunity identification, and a growth-oriented mindset that embraces continuous learning and adaptation.

By focusing on these specific skills and mindsets, the 3Ev Program aims to equip refugee youth with the necessary tools to thrive in the business world, enhance their employability prospects, and foster their entrepreneurial potential.

The implementation of the 3Ev Program for Refugees was facilitated by several key elements:

  • Curriculum Development Collaboration: The program's curriculum was created and developed through a collaborative effort between a business school academic and an industry expert. This collaboration ensured that the curriculum aligned with industry needs and incorporated practical knowledge and skills relevant to the target audience.
  • Collaboration with UNHCR: The program actively engaged with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for consultation and dissemination of information. This collaboration helped ensure that the program addressed the specific needs and challenges faced by refugees and allowed for the exchange of valuable insights and resources.
  • Successful Implementation by an Industry Expert: The program's implementation was led by an experienced industry expert who possessed the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise to deliver the program effectively. The expertise of the industry expert contributed to the program's credibility and ensured a high-quality learning experience for the participants.

By leveraging these elements, the 3Ev Program for Refugees was able to effectively address the employability and entrepreneurial needs of refugee youth, providing them with valuable skills and opportunities for personal and professional development.

Main activities of the Good Practice

The 3Ev Program for Refugees encompasses a range of activities aimed at enhancing the employability and entrepreneurial skills of participants. The main activities of the program include:

  • Resume Writing & Interview Skills: Participants engage in activities such as role-plays to practice and refine their interview skills. They also learn how to create video resumes, which can be an effective tool for showcasing their abilities and experiences. Additionally, participants identify frequently asked interview questions and learn strategies for effectively answering them.
  • Creative Thinking and Idea Generation Skills: This component of the program focuses on developing participants' creative thinking abilities. They engage in activities such as mind-mapping, SCAMPER (a technique for generating creative ideas), and IdeaBox, which provides them with tools for idea generation. Group discussions and the implementation of the Six Thinking Zones help participants enhance their critical thinking skills.
  • Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship: Participants learn about the basic principles of entrepreneurship, including the creation of business plans, advertisements, marketing budgets, and strategies. They also develop company profiles to effectively promote their businesses and gain a better understanding of the essential elements of running a successful venture.

Through these activities, the 3Ev Program equips refugee participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to enhance their employability prospects and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. By engaging in practical exercises and learning relevant concepts, participants are better prepared to navigate the job market or start their own businesses.

Partners involved

  • PRME, School of Business, Monash University Malaysia,
  • UNHCR Malaysia,
  • First Works Group (Corporate Trainer)

What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?


The 3Ev Program for Refugees faced specific challenges during its implementation, including:

  • Online delivery: The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a shift to online delivery for the program. This posed challenges in terms of ensuring effective communication, engagement, and interaction with the refugee participants. Overcoming the limitations of online platforms and providing a supportive virtual learning environment required careful planning, technological resources, and adaptability from both facilitators and participants.
  • Sustainable funding: Securing sustainable funding is crucial for the continued success and longevity of the program. Adequate financial resources are needed to cover various aspects such as program development, facilitator salaries, administrative costs, technological infrastructure, and participant support. Identifying sources of funding, establishing partnerships with organizations or institutions that share the program's goals, and exploring grant opportunities are essential for maintaining the program's sustainability and ensuring its long-term impact.

By recognizing these challenges and actively addressing them through innovative approaches, such as optimizing online delivery methods and seeking sustainable funding sources, the 3Ev Program for Refugees can enhance its effectiveness and continue to provide valuable opportunities for refugee participants. It requires ongoing dedication, collaboration, and resourcefulness to navigate these challenges and create a sustainable and impactful program.

How they were overcome

The challenges encountered during the implementation of the 3Ev Program for Refugees were successfully addressed through effective strategies. Two key factors played a crucial role in overcoming these challenges:

  • High-quality implementation: The program's success can be attributed to the expertise and experience of an accomplished industry expert who led the implementation of the 3Ev Program online. Their knowledge and skills in delivering effective training and mentorship to the refugee participants ensured a high-quality learning experience despite the challenges posed by the online format. Their guidance and support were instrumental in helping the participants practice skills, foster creativity, and build relationships.
  • Funding support: The School of Business academic involved in the program played a pivotal role in securing funding to support its implementation. The recognition received through the PRME Education Excellence Award provided the necessary financial resources to sustain and enhance the program. This funding played a vital role in ensuring the program's continuity and its ability to deliver impactful outcomes for the refugee participants.

By combining the expertise of an industry professional with the financial support obtained through the PRME Education Excellence Award, the challenges faced during the implementation of the 3Ev Program for Refugees were effectively overcome. This allowed the program to fulfill its objectives and provide valuable opportunities for refugee participants to acquire essential skills and enhance their prospects for a better future.

Results of the Good Practice

The 3Ev program for Refugees has successfully accomplished its primary objectives, demonstrating the significant potential impact of such initiatives. By providing young refugees with opportunities to practice skills, engage in discussions, unleash their creativity, build relationships, and actively participate, the program has empowered them in meaningful ways.

In addition to complementing higher education academic initiatives, the program has equipped these individuals with a range of valuable soft skills and foundational personal attributes, enabling them to address their basic needs and work towards self-reliance. Furthermore, the program has the potential to further enhance their circumstances by fostering problem-solving abilities and cultivating them as catalysts for positive change within their communities. Through the 3Ev program, young refugees are not only gaining practical skills but also becoming agents of change, capable of making a difference in their own lives and the lives of others around them.

The 3Ev Program for Refugees has not only provided immediate benefits to its participants but has also acted as a stepping stone to other impactful programs. One such program is the Open-Door Policy program, a registered not-for-profit initiative based in Singapore. This program focuses on connecting marginalized communities, including refugees, with remote work opportunities on a global scale. By delivering online skills training programs and mentorship, Open Door Policy aims to enhance business knowledge, digital literacy, and workplace soft skills among these communities.

In 2021, three participants from the 3Ev Program for Refugees were accepted into the Open-Door Policy program, showcasing the recognition and value of their skills and potential. As a result of their participation, two participants from the 3Ev Program were able to secure employment in various industries, highlighting the positive outcomes and real-world impact of these initiatives. This success story demonstrates the effectiveness of providing refugees with access to tailored programs and opportunities that empower them to thrive and contribute to the workforce.

In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

The 3Ev Program for Refugees aligns with Objective 2 of enhancing refugee self-reliance, which is recognized as crucial for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The inclusion of the SDG indicator 10.7.4, which measures the proportion of the population who are refugees, by country of origin, highlights the significance and relevance of solutions like the 3Ev Program in addressing the needs and rights of refugees.

The program addresses various priority indicators specified under three policy areas: basic needs and living conditions, livelihoods and economic self-reliance, and civil, political and legal rights. By providing refugees with essential skills, knowledge, and opportunities, the program supports their economic self-reliance, enhances their living conditions, and promotes their rights and empowerment.

By actively contributing to the achievement of these priority indicators, the 3Ev Program for Refugees demonstrates its commitment to the SDGs and the overall mission of creating a more inclusive and sustainable world. Through its focus on refugee self-reliance, the program plays a vital role in helping refugees rebuild their lives, contribute to their communities, and achieve long-term well-being.

Next steps

The 3Ev Program for Refugees holds the expectation and goal of continuity through sustainable funding. By securing sustainable funding, the program can ensure its long-term operation and impact. Sustainable funding sources could include partnerships with philanthropic organizations, corporate sponsorships, grants, and fundraising efforts.

To achieve sustainable funding, it is important to develop a comprehensive funding strategy that outlines the financial needs of the program and identifies potential funding sources. This strategy may involve building partnerships with organizations or institutions that align with the program's objectives and values, and actively seeking grants or funding opportunities specific to refugee initiatives, education, or social impact.

Additionally, showcasing the program's success stories, outcomes, and impact can be instrumental in attracting funding support. Demonstrating the positive social and economic benefits that the program provides to refugee participants and their communities can be compelling to potential funders.

By actively pursuing sustainable funding opportunities, the 3Ev Program for Refugees can continue its valuable work, empower refugee participants, and contribute to their long-term success and self-reliance.

Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?

The 3Ev Program for Refugees is a dynamic initiative that places a strong emphasis on stakeholder engagement, including industry partners, UNHCR, academics within the School of Business, and alumni. To ensure the program's continuity and success, adequate funding is essential. The 3Ev Program is intensive and requires ongoing financial support to sustain its operations, including the involvement of industry experts and the commitment to a full-time program and schedule. The program's success can be attributed to its collaborative approach, where an expert corporate trainer, renowned in the field, worked closely with a business school academic to design and customize the program to meet the specific needs of the refugee community. This collaborative effort ensures the program's effectiveness in delivering relevant and impactful training to refugees, equipping them with essential skills and empowering them to contribute meaningfully to society.

To enhance the 3Ev Program for Refugees, additional workshops and guest lectures can be organized, featuring academics from the School of Business. These sessions can provide valuable insights and knowledge, complementing the program's existing curriculum. Furthermore, leveraging the resources and expertise of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub (eiHub) platform within the School of Business and the Monash Business Alumni Chapter can contribute to the development of innovative strategies for delivering an even more impactful program. Collaboration among the corporate trainer, industry partner, academics, and alumni can lead to the identification of new approaches and opportunities for the program, ensuring its continuous improvement and relevance in addressing the needs of the refugee community. By incorporating diverse perspectives and expertise, the program can remain dynamic and responsive to refugees' evolving challenges and aspirations in their pursuit of empowerment and success.

Submitted by

Priya Sharma, Director of PRME, School of Business, Monash University Malaysia

[email protected]