Founder & CEO | Micro Rainbow International
Safe Housing for LGBTI Asylum Seekers and Refugees Seeking Safety From Global Persecution
Homosexuality is criminalised in more than 70 countries in the world and there are currently five countries in which homosexuality is punishable by death. Some individuals are able to escape persecution and seek asylum in other countries such as the United Kingdom.
The founder of Micro Rainbow International, Sebastian Rocca will share proprietary research highlighting concerns of LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees fleeing persecution; why safe housing is critical to them, and Micro Rainbow’s mission in pioneering the first safe housing program for LGBTI asylum seekers in the United Kingdom.
The unique and ground-breaking holistic approach to integration, which includes the provision of housing, social inclusion, and job training has been recognized with the prestigious Thomson Reuters Foundation Innovation Award, and the esteemed William Sutton Prize for Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Sebastian Rocca is a social entrepreneur, social innovator and LGBTI activist. He is a pioneer in the use of social investment in the LGBTI human rights sector. Sebastian applies and creates innovative models for social change that are economically sustainable, scalable and replicable. Many of his initiatives have won international acclaim and successfully attracted social investment finance.
In 2012, Sebastian established Micro Rainbow International, a social enterprise whose mission is to provide safe housing to homeless LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees. The first European safe house opened its doors in 2017. Since then five more homes have opened. Investment was recently secured to create up to 50 homes in the United Kingdom.
Sebastian also established the Micro Rainbow International Foundation (MRIF). It promotes global equality of LGBTI people through housing, employment and small businesses. In Cambodia, Sebastian designed and implemented the first micro-finance programme for the benefit of LGBTI people in poverty. In Brazil, the MRIF has trained hundreds of LGBTI people in poverty and facilitated the opening of numerous LGBTI owned small businesses.
Sebastian holds a BA/MSc in Economics and a MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management. He lives with his husband and two dogs and he enjoys running marathons.