HireChance funds career-building online tech and language education for refugees around the world through the sale of 100% traceable, specialty coffee.

As a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or climate change, refugees left behind communities and homes. But they have huge potential that is under-utilized. HireChance is on a quest to turn a perceived burden into a impactful opportunity for refugees and the world economy.

Our origins can be traced back to the summer of 2018, when over 500 Yemeni asylum-seekers arrived in South Korea through the southern island of Jeju. For a country with one of the lowest refugee-status granting rates in the world at only 0.4% in 2019 – compared to a global average 29.8% in 2018- this unprecedented arrival of hundreds of Yemenis put the global refugee crisis at the forefront of discussion in South Korea.

Finding a way to empower the Yemeni asylum-seekers that were granted temporary humanitarian visas became an important objective at that time for our CEO, Craig. The initial idea of HireChance was conceived as a mentoring program that would allow asylum-seekers to learn from local experts in Seoul in the areas of tech and language, preparing them for high-skilled jobs in their host country. However, the constraints of the temporary humanitarian visa quickly became apparent: asylum-seekers’ formal labor market access (LMA) is extremely limited, restricting them to low-wage sectors such as agriculture and factory work. Due to these constraints, the majority of asylum-seekers could not afford to live in Seoul, hindering their availability to participate in the pilot mentoring program.

Even though the program was short-lived, it highlighted very important points when it comes to the empowerment of forcibly displaced populations: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to address the global refugee crisis, as each individual has their own particular circumstances, challenges, needs and goals. Formal labor market access (LMA) is crucial for their empowerment and tech and language education are key gateways for career-building opportunities in their host communities.

"The speciality coffee market is expected to reach a value of $83 Billion USD by 2025"

— Adroit Market Research

What if good coffee could positively impact the global refugee crisis?

The initial experience with the Yemeni refugee crisis in South Korea and the pilot mentoring program brought to the forefront the extent of the global refugee crisis -70.8 million forcibly displaced persons around the world (UNHCR) – and the need to create a sustainable, creative, and impactful way to empower asylum seekers, refugees, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) through online career-building education.

In the spring of 2019, the idea of HireChance as the social enterprise we know today was born, tapping into the industry of the second most traded commodity in the world: coffee. The connection between both lies in the fact that virtually all of the countries along the Coffee Belt host or are points of origin millions of forcibly displaced persons. There is also a very personal connection between our team members and coffee, as two of our co-founders are from Colombia and Yemen, countries that hail some of the best coffees in the world.

We are proud to source some of the world’s best, 100% traceable, specialty coffee, and investing 20% of our sales towards the empowerment of refugees, asylum-seekers, and IDPs through online education. We wouldn’t be able to do it without our great community, education, and coffee industry partners.

Our vision is a world where forcibly displaced persons have equal, barrier-less, and free access to quality career building online education as a stepping stone for a better livelihood and future for themselves and their families.

We believe in the power of synergy to multiply our impact.

That is why we are partnering with the best online education companies, coffee roasters, non-profits, startups, companies and international organizations around the world whose mission and values align with ours to creatively collaborate in bringing the best in online education, coffee, and on-the ground expertise with refugees together.







We've been featured by numerous media outlets across the globe.

If you represent a media outlet and wish to feature HireChance, please reach out to us at hello@hirechance.org. Our media kit can be accessed here.

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