Africa Rights Talk Podcast Series

In conversation with Andrew Leon Hanna

In this episode, Andrew Leon Hanna, a first-generation Egyptian-American lawyer, social entrepreneur, and author, provides captivating insights into his groundbreaking book, "25 Million Sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs."  Mr Hanna delves into the remarkable journeys of three women refugee entrepreneurs, challenging stereotypes and advocating for inclusive policies, governance, and the crucial role of storytelling. Mr Hanna emphasises the unique challenges women refugees encounter and their extraordinary contributions to society. Through their stories, "25 Million Sparks" seeks to amplify their voices, dispel harmful stereotypes, and foster a greater appreciation for their resilience, strength, and entrepreneurial spirit. Andrew inspires readers to shift their perspectives and actively support the socioeconomic development of refugee communities. Ultimately, Mr Hanna calls for a more compassionate and equitable world, where the potential of refugee entrepreneurs is recognised, celebrated, and supported.

Andrew Leon Hanna is Andrew Leon Hanna is an American lawyer, entrepreneur, author, and international human rights advocate. He was born to immigrants parents from Egypt. In 2018, he was awarded Financial Times and McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize for his book "25 Million Sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs". He is also the founder of DreamxAmerica, Immigrant Love, and Sawa Impact Labs at Stanford and Harvard Universities.  

"25 Million Sparks: The Untold Story of Refugee Entrepreneurs" centres on the narratives of three women refugee entrepreneurs, Yasmina, a wedding shop and salon owner creating moments of celebration; Malak, a young artist infusing color and beauty throughout the camp; and Asma, a social entrepreneur who uplifted the Za’atari refugee camp and of the global refugee entrepreneurship phenomenon they represent. The book captures a phenomenon that happens in almost all of the camps: Amid the noisome and sometimes terrible conditions, people begin to regrow their lives by starting tiny businesses. The book is a powerful story of hope and a beautiful reminder of our equal dignity, common humanity, and brilliant potential for innovation. It sheds light on the brutal injustices of war and violence while celebrating refugees’ records of uplifting communities, generating transformative ideas, and creating peace even amid disaster. 

For more about 25 Million Sparks: https://www.cambridge.org/us/universitypress/subjects/management/entrepreneurship-and-innovation/25-million-sparks-untold-story-refugee-entrepreneurs?format=HB

This conversation was recorded  on 19 June 2023.

Music and news extracts: Inner Peace by Mike Chino https://soundcloud.com/mike-chinoCreative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b...Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0nI6qJeqFcc  limitless https://stock.adobe.com/za/search/audio?k=452592386


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