What we do: We restore dignity to refugees through fair-wage online work
: We are headquartered in the United States. Our workforce is currently in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Venezuela
Since when:
The target:
refugees and displaced people We restore dignity to refugees through fair-wage online work.

The Problem

There are over 68 million displaced people in the world. Syria alone is experiencing the largest refugee crisis since World War II, where according to the United Nations, more than half of the population (11 million people) have been displaced. Many of these refugees are professionals with college degrees who are prevented from working in their host countries because they may lack work permits, documentation, bank accounts, connections, transportation, or the language skills to work in that country. This inability to work worsens the psychological trauma they have already faced by being displaced. They often feel useless and restless, are forced to rely on insufficient aid, or end up seeking income in dangerous illegal markets or even entering/re-entering the conflict they fled in pursuit of income as paid soldiers.

The solution

WorkAround restores dignity to refugees through economic empowerment by connecting them to fair-wage online work. We provide displaced individuals navigating a life in transition with the flexibility to work anywhere through a connected smartphone or laptop and to be paid without the need for a traditional bank account.
Companies using WorkAround’s data services not only save time and get quality service, but are also contributing to a more socially just and productive world where talent knows no boundaries, opportunity doesn’t ask for status, and work is rewarded with fair pay.

The product

Our product allows businesses in the fast-growing world of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to easily submit data entry, data labelling, and data cleaning jobs that are completed quickly and accurately by our pool of WorkArounders. Our innovative quality control workflow not only ensure accuracy, but also provides incentives and training for our workers to advance their jobs skills and improve their future employability in permanent full-time jobs once they are resettled or can return to their home countries. Our online worker platform offers flexibility and job choice to ensure our workers remain engaged while growing their skills. WorkAround also provides alternative payment options to our workers who may not have traditional banking services available to them due to their circumstances.

The impact on the lives of refugees

WorkAround provides positive sustainable impact in two key ways:

  1. Providing immediate income-generating opportunities to refugees in transition
  2. Enhancing the skills of our WorkArounders for better future employment

Impact Metrics:

  • Number of refugees earning income through WorkAround annually
  • Total annual refugee earnings
  • # of full time equivalent jobs annually
  • Total number of lives impacted (household numbers)


WorkAround provides fair-wage online work to refugees and displaced people. Our pool of talented workers help companies with services such as data entry, data tagging, data cleaning, and digitization.

Wafaa Arbash Co-Founder and CEO

Jennie Kelly Co-Founder and COO

Severin Ibarluzea Co-Founder and CTO

Our results

We have moved quickly from an idea in Wafaa’s master’s thesis in 2016 to a functioning business in just 8 months. Since April, 2017 we have been able to pay 482 Refugees & displaced people who have completed more than 3,312 hours of work on our platform, who would otherwise not have access to safe or legal employment.
These earnings have positively impacted 1,446 people based on an average household size of 3, and it is this impact we are most proud of.
However, we are also proud of our achievements that have made this possible, including
filling our critical CTO role and launching our Worker Platform in June 2018, which helped us increase our sales by 9 times compared to last year, with additional plans to xxx in the next 12 months.
We have been fortunate to be a part of the MassChallenge and GSBI accelerator programs, which have positioned us for rapid growth and increased impact.

Our future goals, thanks to your donations

So far, we are proud to have been able to provide income for almost 500 WorkArounders, but we have 1600 registered WorkArounders who want to be working, but for whom we don’t have enough work, and thousands more who can help their families get through some of the most traumatic experiences imaginable by getting work through our platform. Imagine how many more lives we could impact if we doubled, tripled, or quadrupled the number of customers we currently have?
Our goal is to provide $7 million of income to refugees by 2022. Help us make this happen by:
Donating now to help us improve our platform making it even easier for workers to use the site and gain valuable training.
Telling organizations you are involved with about WorkAround’s services and how they might benefit from having our WorkArounders solve a data need or work on a project.
Sharing this link with 5 people you know who believe, like we do, that talent knows no boundaries, opportunity doesn’t ask for status, and work is rewarded with fair pay.

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