SSI News Blog

Former-refugee and SSI Ignite entrepreneur Ghazal Ehsan arrived in Australia as a mere fourteen-year-old. Today she is deeply immersed in starting up her own cosmetic teeth whitening business in Sydney.

Ms Ehsan discovered the Ignite Small Business Start-ups program when volunteering for SSI and already considering starting up her own business.

“I was thinking a lot about starting my own business and had done a bit of research on my particular idea and the demand for it, but I didn’t know how to start. I thought to myself, there’s no better way to start up than with Ignite,” Ms Ehsan said.

Ms Ehsan is highly satisfied with the program and is grateful for the support she has received from Ignite, commenting that the staff are professional and knowledgeable in their service delivery practice.

“I can’t say enough about how grateful I am for participating in Ignite, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made!”

“Every time I have a meeting with Ignite, it feels like home, it’s like everyone is striving for my success.”

Ms Ehsan says that the most rewarding part of working with Ignite is access to industry knowledge, connections and mentorship.

“Ignite has been helping me to start my business in every way, from getting the right insurance to picking a business name,” Ms Ehsan said.

When asked what she finds most rewarding about her business, Ms Ehsan says that putting a smile on her clients’ faces after they receive treatment is what gives her the most job-satisfaction, while what she finds most challenging is harnessing new business opportunities.

“The challenging part for me is striving to be the best at what I do while finding different opportunities to promote my business and what I stand for,” she said.

“But I do enjoy teeth whitening because it works and I believe in it, and I am going to work hard to promote my business and provide the best service to all other similar businesses out there.”

Ms Ehsan’s advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs is around conducting robust market testing and research before launching into any business realms.

“Don’t rush things and do lots of research on your product or the service, prioritise market research and add something to your service or business that would help you stand out amongst all of your competitors.”

“And finally, don’t be afraid to use your creativity.”

Success stories

Muhammad Sadiq: How I came to call Australia home

Muhammad Sadiq cooking for people seeking asylum at Community Kitchen.I came to Australia as a refugee in 2009, hoping to find a peaceful place to build a home for my family. Increasing persecution of the Hazara community from which my family and I come meant that our native land, Pakistan, was no longer the safe haven it once had been.

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