Escaping from the Syrian war to run a business on eBay A Syrian refugee’s story of success


Mohammed Agha who fled Syria due to the conflict in 2013, was amongst the three highly commended sellers by eBay (for Business Awards 2017) for his successful inspirational story.


More than 500 entrepreneurs around the UK had an opportunity to entries for eBay Business Award this year, but few of them were finalists and invited to share their experiences and networking at eBay’s headquarters, UK.

More than 200,000 small businesses currently trade on eBay in the UK according to the eBay website.

When Agha arrived in the UK, he started his journey by finding a proper job in the trading market to support his family and rebuild his life away from the war.  With the increased number of Syrian refugees in the UK, Agha launched his business and posted his new eBay platform link to a Syrian Community Facebook page in the UK and shared it with many friends on social media websites.

After some period of time, he was surprised by the little reactions and the few sales via his eBay account. Whereas now he is running his own business, “Almaskiya,” which was shortlisted as one of nine for promising runner-up across the country by The eBay for Business Awards Agha imports items like food recipes, kitchen appliances, gifts and antiques from the Middle East and deliver them anywhere in the world.

Adam decided to conduct workshops and some learning sessions for the Syrian community people to teach and train them on using eBay platform and how to support themselves with eBay businesses.

“Today, Mohammed supports others asylum seeking by organizing eBay training courses, with more than 30 fellow refugees in Birmingham and Manchester having benefitted from his work sofa,” says eBay.

Many refugees around the world have changed the perception of entrepreneurship, started to create opportunities and run his own business such as Razan Alsous who won the bronze prize at the World Cheese Awards. She was one of the thousands of Syrians who fled their county to seek a new life in the UK.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) – the entrepreneurship think tank – has released a report calling on the UK to empower resettled refugees through entrepreneurship. “Many refugees have clearly demonstrated that they want to be self-employed and start their own businesses. We must give them the opportunity and support they need. Refugee entrepreneurship programmes are the best way to do this: it provides them with the advice, mentoring and skills they need to succeed.” says Matt Smith, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs.  




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