Copenhagen School of Interaction DesignDenmark


Production / Student


Somayeh Ranjbar


Refugee integration problem is an important global issue which is affecting the social and economical dynamics in many countries like Denmark. Among the different groups of refugees , there are people who used to be entrepreneurs in their home country or are willing to start a new business in the host country. This group of newcomers, labeled as “entrepreneur refugees” are facing many challenges in a city like Copenhagen: legal limitations, difficulty to find a relevant network, trust issues in the new environment, and very basic limitations as presenting their professional background to the local audiences.

This project is the results of an intense 10 weeks of immersing in the topic of “refugee situations in Copenhagen” through a series of in-depth interviews with refugees and experts, attending different events related to refugees, and observing their daily lives through volunteering work and using prototyping as a continuous way of defining the problem and targeting the solution.

The Service
Ashena as a service and marketplace intends to encourage entrepreneur refugees and local businesses building networks based on their commonalities and needs. With the help of its digital platform, businesses and individuals can create rich profiles demonstrating not only the professional skills and their business mission but also highlight the social aspects of their professions in their profiles. The chatbots on the website of Ashena can create a conversation with the user and interact with her/him in a way that an interviewer would do. The conversational UI has the goal of provoking a storyline from the person by bringing examples and using specific phrases. The profiles will be matched based on their commonalities and interests and the service will notify the members by introducing a series of curated events and programs supported by organizational sponsors.

The value
Dreams and aspirations differentiates us humans. This is the point where many refugees are struggling with. They are “future-seekers” who might face close doors in the countries they try to re-develop their lives. Shaping a specific community named “refugee” is one of the most critical challenges threatening the refugees’ integration in the new society.
Ashena by bring the personality, aspirations, professional background, and dreams of the people can make connections beyond the sympathy and charity. The ultimate goal of this project is to shift the emphasis from a receiver-giver dynamic to a professional network of entrepreneurs who want to share their skills, expertise and shared dreams.

Assessed Benefits for Refugees
-Access to a convenient profile making tool to present their capabilities in an appealing way
Being able to identify local businesses which share the same interests or skills in order to make a business network
-Minimizing the trust barriers with local professionals by presenting rich profiles and demonstrating business intentions

Assessed Benefits for Local Small Businesses
-Access to a convenient profile making tool to present their business values and impact
-Being able to identify new-comers sharing the same values, passions, and interest
-Building a support network to re-shape, re-target, or appreciate the impact of their businesses


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