Refugee Lens Investing | March 16, 2022

Chatterbox snags over $2 million to connect tech-skilled refugees with jobs

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, March 16 — London, U.K.-based Chatterbox launched in 2016 as an online language learning school for Syrian refugees to earn a living teaching Arabic to professionals. Founder Mursal Hedayat, an Afghani refugee, says her highly-skilled mother struggled to find work when she moved to the U.K.

Today, Chatterbox works with professionals from companies including BNP Paribas, Unilever, FTI Consulting, PwC and the British Red Cross.

Refugee lens

The pre-seed round will help the startup develop a platform to connect global refugee and marginalized communities with job opportunities in the digital economy.

“As we’re seeing from the Ukrainian crisis, unfortunately, we live in a world where mass displacement of talented people from war, famine and even climate change is increasingly commonplace,” said Hedayat. “This funding will help us further our mission of helping businesses engage with this amazing pool of marginalized talent.”

Inclusive economy

Chatterbox says there are around 40 million degree-educated and unemployed and underemployed professionals globally who could help fill talent shortages in the tech industry.

Roughly 33 million workers have quit their jobs since the beginning of 2021. An estimated 34,000 Ukrainians who arrived in the U.S. before March 1 have been granted temporary protected status.