Insight & Analysis

Press release: Airbnb.org, DoorDash, IKEA, and Teleperformance recognised for their efforts to integrate refugees at first-ever awards

Published: Jun 2021

17th June 2021 – During Refugee Week 2021, Airbnb.org, DoorDash, IKEA, Teleperformance, and Ben & Jerry’s have been recognized for their efforts to include refugees in their new host communities. The first edition of the “Business for Refugees” Awards, hosted by the Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) – a global network of over 170 major companies committed to supporting refugees around the world – recognizes businesses that have made extraordinary efforts to support refugees.

Newspaper press release

During the virtual awards ceremony, CEO of Chobani and Founder of Tent Hamdi Ulukaya said: “As we emerge from this pandemic, it’s amazing to see so many businesses going above and beyond to include refugees. We must continue to create opportunities for everyone while we rebuild our economies and our societies – we must not leave refugees behind.”

Speaking at the event, Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Armenian-Lebanese refugee, CEO of Flagship Pioneering, and Co-Founder & Chairman of Moderna — one of the companies which developed a Covid-19 vaccine — added: “I’ve always said that refugees and migrants are the ultimate innovators and founders — they are the founders of a new life. They bring with them incredible resilience and force of spirit. Every country stands to gain by welcoming them and fostering their talents.”

Tent’s “Business for Refugees” Awards recognized the following companies for their programs to integrate refugees:

  • Airbnb.org and Airbnb won the award for Outstanding Leadership in Tailoring Products to Meet Refugees’ Needs, for working with hosts to help ensure that refugees have access to temporary accommodations when they first arrive in a new country. This work started under Airbnb’s Open Homes program and now continues under Airbnb.org, a new non-profit dedicated to opening homes in times of crisis. Collectively they have helped more than 20,000 refugees to date find comfortable accommodations.
  • DoorDash won the award for Outstanding Leadership in Storytelling about Refugee Integration for the powerful storytelling it uses to market its Kitchens Without Borders program. In addition to featuring the stories of the refugees and immigrants who run restaurant businesses on its platform, DoorDash helps these merchants grow their businesses by providing marketing, coaching, and capital.
  • IKEA won the award for Outstanding Leadership in Integrating Refugees in the Supply Chain, for its efforts to create and market several collections and products of hand-crafted textiles made by refugee women and local Jordanian women. IKEA’s ongoing program will have led to the employment of over 250 Jordanian and refugee women as of August 2021, with plans to scale over time.
  • Teleperformance, a global business process outsourcing company, won the award for Outstanding Leadership in Integrating Refugees into the Workforce, for its efforts to hire over 2,000 Venezuelan refugees in Colombia.
  • Ben & Jerry’s won the award for Outstanding Leadership in Supporting Refugee Entrepreneurs, for its Ice Academy program, which has supported nearly 200 refugee entrepreneurs in Europe — setting them up for success in starting their own businesses.

Accepting on behalf of Airbnb.org and Airbnb, Joe Gebbia, Co-founder of Airbnb and Chairman of Airbnb.org, said: “No one can feel at home until they have a place they can call ‘home’– this is why the work to help refugees and other vulnerable communities find temporary accommodations is so critical to Airbnb.org’s mission.”

During the virtual event, 24 companies — including major businesses in apparel, healthcare, and banking — joined the Tent Partnership for Refugees as new members. They include: Agrana Fruit, BBVA, BMO Financial Group, Bright Horizons, BRK, Carrefour, CCI Global, Claro Colombia, Concentrix, Enbridge, EY, Gap Inc., General Assembly, HSBC Bank Canada, Micron, Novartis, Novo Nordisk Foundation, PayPal, Rejuvenation, Salsano Group, ServiceNow, Sony, Tony’s Chocolonely, and Zentis.

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