Refugee Labor Market Integration – An Impact Investment Case Study


The dislocation of millions of people in various conflict zones of the Middle East and Africa is one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of our time. Given the complexity of the issue, various ways of solving the associated challenges have been implemented; reaching from emergency camps in conflict zones to innovative integration services in host countries. With overloaded government processes and too little funding, it is of utmost importance to fund and scale up effective integration services. Successful integration depends to a large extent on promoting the required abilities to build a self- sustained life. As such, labor market integration of refugees becomes of crucial importance first and foremost for themselves, yet successful integration also bears major upsides for the broader society.

One example of a successful integration service is SchlaU Schule, located in Munich, Germany. By providing young refugees with an education that is acknowledged on the German labor market, young refugees can integrate faster and build self-sustained lives through the improved facilitation of labor market integration. Today, organizations like SchlaU Schule often lack funding to operationalize and scale up their services. Hence, identifying successful services that generate social impact and implementing smart ways to allocate funding to those organizations, while generating financial returns, are urgent issues to be solved.

Students tackling this case will work at the intersection of social impact and financial return. Students are encouraged to design an impact investment case targeting refugee labor market integration that not only creates social impact, but also financial return for investors. Thus, entrepreneurial thinking is combined with rigorous financial modelling to align both financial and social returns in a meaningful way. The goal of the case is to allow students to think entrepreneurially, conceptualize financially viable and socially meaningful solutions, and identify ways to implement these in the real world.

AuthorMarc Haßler
InstitutionMaastricht University School of Business and Economics, The Netherlands
Competition Year2017
PlaceThird Prize
TrackSustainable Finance
Key WordsCSR, Socially Responsible Investing, Environmental Performance, Social Performance
CoursesSustainable Finance, Strategic Management, Finance, Business Sustainability, Business and Society, or Environmental Entrepreneurship
Target AudienceMBAs, Undergraduates
Permission rightsThis case is part of the oikos free case collection. Download a free online copy below. If you are a faculty member and you are interested in teaching this case, you can request a free teaching note by sending us an email to
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posted June 19, 2017

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