Integrify, which operates as a business and a non-profit in Finland, set out to reduce the unemployment rate of migrants and refugees by training them in software development. Through their academy, migrants can be trained and employed in only five to nine months, compared to the average of five years it ordinarily takes them to find work. Migrants are admitted to Integrify's Finland-based academy tuition-free. After passing the application and interview process, participants are trained, prepped, and matched with employers. The international arm of the academy, which operates virtually, offers similar services to the public. Participants are admitted on the basis of an income sharing arrangement, according to which they typically pay off tuition charges during the first five years of post-training employment. The Integrify team received initial impact investment after winning an innovation contest hosted by a local Finnish organization. The team's non-profit, which operates under the same brand name, provides immigrant-focused programs and receives funding from local philanthropic foundations. Integrify’s academies have become self-sustaining, based on revenue generated by their consulting and staffing services.
Theory of Change
Providing technological training and employment to immigrants helps them improve their quality of life, integrate into society, and positively impact their host nation’s economy.
Integrify’s for-profit academy trains participants in skills such as full-stack development, accessibility, animation, API design, testing, DevOps practices, and cloud development with Amazon Web Services (AWS). The learning experience includes daily live lectures from expert developers, hands-on work in pairs and teams, code review and 1-on-1 feedback, career mentoring, mock interviews, matchmaking to career opportunities with partner companies, and a community of like-minded and supportive peers. Their non-profit runs programs that focus on community integration, building tech skills, giving career advice, creating social platforms for the community, and providing networking opportunities.
Integrify has impacted refugees’ livelihoods and social integration by training over 550 people. After starting a five-person pilot program, they have trained 21 academy cohorts. They have worked with over 50 nationalities, and 80% of the developers they have trained were hired at companies based in Finland. Integrify has partnerships with over 100 companies, and 98% of the partner companies have hired from the academy’s talent pool. Aside from the training they provide through the academy, Integrify’s non-profit activities have seen participation from 68 companies with over 70 organized events. Seventy-eight immigrants were employed by the initiatives, thirty percent of them women. In 2022, Integrify expanded to Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, with over 700 aspiring developers and data scientists expected to participate in the Integrify Academy to reinvent their careers.