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Private Sector For Refugees


Entrepreneurship, Jobs, and Growth: The Way Forward for the Forcibly Displaced 

The skills, talents, and experience that forcibly displaced people (FDPs) carry with them can be highly valuable economic assets. Among the ranks of the forcibly displaced are people ready to be strong employees or entrepreneurs, from factory floor workers to CEOs. They often bring exceptional drive. And they would rather be self-sufficient and economically empowered than remain jobless and a burden on the communities that host them.

Woman in shop
The PS4R Approach: Building Local Economies

PS4R knowledge, tools, and strategies help build the local private sector in communities that host the forcibly displaced. The approach generates job and entrepreneurship opportunities and also connects forcibly displaced people with needed products and services as well as access to financial services, including investment.

We offer methodologies to identify micro, small, and medium enterprises in communities hosting the forcibly displaced that are either operated by, employ, or service forcibly displaced people and are poised for growth. We then devise strategies to help those companies develop their capabilities to compete and succeed and help local business associations connect them with regional and global business-to-business markets.


Tools for Scale: Support for Development Organizations

In addition to overseeing private sector-building programs ourselves, we create and provide support to others to do the same through sharing of research, tools, knowledge, strategies, and methodologies.

We offer a set of “how to’s,” guidelines, and advisory services that can be integrated into development projects. The tools can be applied by businesses that want to benefit from adopting an FDP lens or used by governments that want to increase the role of the private sector in economic integration of forcibly displaced people.

The PS4R approach helps World Bank programs expand their reach and increase their impact. Adding an FDP-related strategy to existing development initiatives can help achieve scale by expanding local economies and their ability to generate jobs.

We also help bring a refugee lens to financial institutions, to make sure forcibly displaced people can get access to finance through market mechanisms. To ensure sustainability, we support governments to strengthen their institutions and encourage the mutual benefits between the forcibly displaced and the private sector through a favorable legal and regulatory environment.


The Result: Economic Opportunity for the Forcibly Displaced

The result is new businesses and life-altering jobs for forcibly displaced people—and for local populations. The PS4R approach makes those communities stronger, improves the business returns, and creates a more peaceful and richer life for all.

How the PS4R Approach Works

We work to fuel business activity and investment while also strengthening institutions and legal frameworks vital to enabling forcibly displaced people— and the private sector— to flourish. The PS4R approach has four key elements:

Inclusive entrepreneurship

PS4R identifies local MSMEs, and, accordingly, economic sectors, that are inclusive of refugees and poised for growth. Once selected, these firms receive PS4R-provided business development services.

Capacity-building and business-to-business matchmaking

PS4R provides services that help FDP-related MSMEs build capabilities to maximize employment. And we match the MSMEs with both local partners and export opportunities.

Investment catalyzation and access to finance

PS4R introduces an “FDP lens” to investment and lending. We connect financial institutions and investors with investable businesses, and we promote technological solutions to accelerate FDPs’ financial inclusion.

Institution and policy development

We anchor our work in local business institutions, building their capacity to support FDP-related MSMEs. Support includes ecosystem mapping and MSME training. Based on this experience, the institutions also advocate for FDP-enabling government policies.

Forcibly Displaced People Can Be Economy-Builders

Too often, forcibly displaced people are viewed as an economic burden. The PS4R approach recognizes that they actually have much to offer their host communities. The forcibly displaced contribute as:


Many FDPs are highly entrepreneurial. With the right conditions in place, they launch new businesses or sometimes bring businesses with them from their home countries.


Studies show FDPs are credit-worthy at least at the same rate as the general population. FDP-related businesses also often represent excellent investment opportunities.


Companies that employ FDPs build stronger, more diverse workforces. Many FDPs also bring valuable specialized skills. And FDPs tend to be especially reliable employees.


In large numbers, FDPs constitute new markets. They need products and services geared to their situation and tastes. Companies can grow by meeting those needs.

PS4R Knowledge and Tools for Business, Governments, and Development Partners

In addition to our in-country work PS4R develops global knowledge and tools to aid in the activation of the forcibly displaced as strong economic actors. The Knowledge & Tools section of this website is a growing hub for research, trainings, frameworks, and other resources that can be used by businesses, governments, and other development partners in their own work.


Working with the World Bank: Compound Impact

PS4R is led by the World Bank. Projects are aligned and designed to ensure collaboration with World Bank initiatives on the ground, maximizing available expertise, networks, reach, and impact. In turn, when existing World Bank projects add a PS4R dimension to their work, they can expand and scale up – reaching more people and making a bigger difference.

With 189 member countries and offices in more than 130 locations, the World Bank is part of hundreds of development projects around the world. Where there’s a need for support for forcibly displaced people, the World Bank is very often at work. 

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