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Tech start-ups in Europe are trying to help migrants

With the number of people displaced worldwide due to conflict and persecution currently standing at 68.5 million, some start-ups are trying to find innovative ways to help.

In Europe in 2015, the continent witnessed an influx of migrants and refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East, particularly the civil war in Syria. In countries like Finland, technology firms have since formed with the aim of providing services for these refugees.

‘‘There is a labor shortage in Finland, so we knew we had to do something after 32,000 refugees arrived to Finland in 2015, that‘s when we founded the company,” Elisa Vepsalainen, the executive director of Startup Refugees, told CNBC.

Alongside digital services firm Futurice, also based in Finland, Startup Refugees created a new match-making tool between newcomers and new companies, called Match Made.

“We use it for profiling skills,‘‘ Vepsalainen explained via telephone. The company started by collecting data on refugees in reception centers around Finland to find out background information relating to education and skills, so they could be matched with employers.

“Companies in Finland have been increasingly interested in what we are doing and we have achieved some promising results. So far we have supported 65 business teams and offered 554 jobs and more than 5,000 education opportunities,‘‘ Vepsalainen added via email.

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