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Syrian Refugees Launch New Social Enterprise In Toronto With A Mission To Promote Refugee Employment And Help Marginalized Communities

Three Syrian refugees embrace the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada, with a vision to pay-it-forward

TORONTO, June 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2016, Omran, Yasser, Maha arrived in Toronto after fleeing war-torn Syria, intent on a new life full of opportunities that Canada had to offer. An artist, professional painter, and entrepreneur with a background in sociology, respectively, the trio met at a Syrian community workshop. They quickly realized that not only did they share the refugee experience, but likewise a great passion for business. With a collective desire to prove that refugees can give back to the country that welcomed them, the seeds of entrepreneurship were planted. As a result, Seeba was born.

Seeba is a social enterprise painting company that delivers high-quality painting services to homes and workspaces through experienced management and trained staff, offering affordable and competitive prices. In addition, Seeba's vision is to create a business that offers equal opportunity for refugees, women, and minorities in an effort to even the playing field, granting these marginalized groups the chance to flourish through equal opportunities and pay.

"First, we aim to create a balance between men and women in an industry that has been historically dominated by men. Second, we provide skills training to populations in need of meaningful employment. Third, using a thoughtful predetermined criterion, we implement a unique "Pay It Forward" residential enhancement program, which provides free or at cost painting services to improve the quality of life of marginalized communities," explained Maha Alio, Seeba's co-founder.

The motivation behind Seeba is twofold. First, is the desire to thrive as newcomers and build a nation-wide business that provides the life the three founders have longed for, and likewise to inspire other refugees and newcomers to follow a similar path. Secondly, the social enterprise was launched to enhance Canada's prosperity by creating a business that empowers women and minorities, providing them with sufficient resources that will enable them to thrive alongside men and other members of Canadian society.

"We are beyond passionate, determined to prove that refugees and newcomer are not only economic contributors but social contributors too. For us we have many things that make us stand out from the rest like the social aspect, the equality of opportunity and the long years of experience which guarantees high quality results, and moreover our affordable and competitive prices," said Omran Faour, Seeba's co-founder.

Seeba benefited from a favourable social and business landscape in Toronto as many local businesses have been stepping up to help refugees. For instance, Seeba's team benefitted from Angels + Refugee Entrepreneurs project that connected them with great mentors and resources to start the base structure of the business. Seeba also benefited from Little Dragon Media's Refugee to Entrepreneur Program and received a free website and digital marketing services from the Toronto agency.

"We were so lucky to stumble upon local businesses like Little Dragon Media and Angels + Refugee Entrepreneurs who helped us and believed in our project." concluded Maha.

Seeba will provide free specialized training to ensure that everyone who wants to learn a new skill will have an opportunity. The company's unique pay-it-forward program will give people unable to afford painting services, the chance to enjoy the comfort of a renovated and freshly painted home. Currently operating in the GTA, Seeba can be found at www.seebaworks.ca. For general inquiries call (647)550-4300, or email info@seebaworks.ca.

Maha Alio


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