REN 2022: The fifth annual summit

From 26-28th October, the Refugee Entrepreneurship Network will convene in Venice for its fifth annual summit, bringing together 180 world-leading refugee entrepreneurship practitioners, researchers, policymakers, funders, and impact investors.

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The format

First launched in 2018, the summit is the flagship annual gathering of the global community. In addition to the full-day conference schedule on Thursday, the summit features several fringe activities, including:

Corporate Leaders Forum

Research Forum

Refugee Entrepreneurs Showcase

Member-led workshops


Local tours

The Corporate Leaders Forum

A new flagship gathering at the summit. Senior corporate leaders will be invited to a closed session on Wednesday afternoon to share strategies, experiences, and ideas on how corporates can best support refugee entrepreneurship.

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The 3rd Refugee Entrepreneurs Showcase

Refugee entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch remotely from around the world for cash prizes. Applications will open in July and shortlisting will take place in September.

The Research Forum

This annual meeting of the Research and Evaluation working group, hosted by its chair Dr Michelle Richey of Loughborough University, will convene the world's leading researchers in the field for agenda setting, coordination, and collaboration.

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The venue: Procuratie Vecchie, St Mark's Square, Venice

The Home of The Human Safety Net is at Procuratie Vecchie, a large and historic building overlooking St. Mark’s Square in the heart of Venice. The Procuratie takes its name from the Procurators of Saint Mark, who, in addition to being senior city officials, were also responsible for looking after the poor and needy of the Venitian republic. Staying true to its original mission, the Home of The Human Safety Net now fulfills these ambitions globally and projects them into the future. Just opened to the public after more than 500 years, it features a large auditorium, an interactive exhibition space, and much more; it is a hub for social innovators passionate about empowering the most vulnerable in society worldwide.

Our host: Oli Barrett

Oli Barrett is reprising his role as conference host. Described by WIRED magazine as "the most connected man in Britain", OIi Barrett is a serial co-founder who enjoys connecting people and ideas. He is a shareholder in several companies including and Troubadour Theatres and co-founded the UK's largest schools enterprise competition, Tenner. He co-founded StartUp Britain with support from the British Prime Minister and the Clean and Cool Mission, supporting cleantech scaleups to connect with global investors and markets. He is a regular event host, including for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and sits on the advisory boards of Tech London Advocates, One Million Mentors and Founders4Schools. His latest audio course, Build a Better Network, has been taken by people around the world and his latest charity campaign (TOTS) encourages broadcasters and tech companies to turn on the subtitles, improving children's literacy.

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£150-200 +VAT For charitable / non-profit / social enterprise member organisations that are actively running refugee entrepreneurship programmes.


£200 +VAT For academics and other researchers involved in refugee entrepreneurship research programmes.

Refugee entrepreneurs

Limited free places. Donors can sponsor refugee entrepreneurs to attend (covering travel and accommodation) for £1000.


£200 +VAT For representatives of international, national, regional and local governments, executive agencies, and other public bodies.

Corporates, foundations and other programme funders

£400 +VAT For corporates, foundations and other organisations that fund, support, and/or deliver refugee entrepreneurship programmes.

Banks, investors and other finance providers

£400 +VAT For banks, investors, and other business finance experts involved in refugee entrepreneurship.

Highlights from our last in-person summit


Due to limited capacity, the summit is invitation-only. Existing members of the network are encouraged to check their emails for their custom invitation and registration link.

Agenda: Wednesday 26th October

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Agenda: Thursday 27th October

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Agenda: Friday 28th October

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