September 09, 2016

This Delegate is creating positive change for refugees

With the Summit just three weeks away, we are pleased to recognize incoming Canadian Delegate Kevin Smiley’s work for founding SuraiTea Inc. Based out of our Host City, Ottawa, SuraiTea is a tea packaging social enterprise which hires recently-arrived Syrian refugees. They offer five types of jasmine-scented organic teas; as jasmine is the national flower of Syria, it provides a meaningful connection to their home country.
SuraiTea Refugee Aid

Kevin conceived the idea only this past February, and fully incorporated his enterprise the following month. With the aim of providing sustainable employment to refugees, Kevin sought to provide opportunities for them to succeed and better integrate in Canadian society. He also hopes to source corporate donations for the non-profits aiding their resettlement. He envisions that by demonstrating their ability to find jobs and flourish in local companies, Canada will accept more refugees.

SuraiTea completed its first production run of 1000 tins of tea on National Refugee Day on April 4th. Since launching their Shopify store, they have sold over $12,000 in tea, provided 280 hours of work experience for refugees, and paid out $5,600 in wages.

Last week, SuraiTea won the Startup Canada Social Enterprise Award for Ontario under the ‘Entrepreneur-Led Businesses Demonstrating Excellence’ category. Kevin will be accepting the award at the Startup Canada Regional Awards on 27 September, which will be presented by the Centre for Social Innovation.

Congratulations to Kevin on his efforts to spread positive change for refugees.

See original article here.

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