SSI News Blog

Four Brave Women: Summer Hill café empowers refugee entrepreneurs

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenFour Brave Women is open for business!

Developed as a joint initiative between The Trading Circle, a division of the charity Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, and SSI, Four Brave Women is a café and community space where refugees have the opportunity to create a sustainable income for themselves using their culinary skills. It is a creative and inclusive space that celebrates different cultures through food and art.

Adiam Tefera & colleague first entrepreneurs to be part of Four Brave Women cafeImage: Adiam Tefera & colleague first entrepreneurs to be part of Four Brave Women cafe

The main purpose of the initiative is to work through the barriers that refugees face when starting work in a new country, and to provide them with the support to start, run and grow their own small business.

Refugees have the opportunity to earn an income while being in a supportive environment set up to enable their success and give them the necessary experience to pursue their own journey.

The program consists of eight-week cycles where the entrepreneurs serve lunch and dinner six days each week (Tuesday to Sunday) at 26 Lackey Street, Summer Hill.

The eight-week cycle allows time for participants to experience the challenges of running a small business, testing their product, menu and business plan.

Zahra Armian and Adiam Tefera are the first two women to take part in the initiative. For six weeks, diners at Four Brave Women will be able to taste delicious Persian lunch and dinner, and Ethiopian coffee and breakfast.

Ms Tefera said she had nothing when she came to Australia but having access to a program like this was great for any refugee wanting to create a better future for themselves.

Ms Armian said she was learning skills she never thought she would need, because business in Australia was very different to her home country.

“Having the support from SSI IgniteAbility to develop myself as an entrepreneur and then having the support of Four Brave Women to put it into practice is an incredible opportunity,” she said.

Four Brave Women was featured on ABC News. Watch the video to meet the chefs and learn more about the initiative.

Ms Tefera and Ms Armian are part of SSI IgniteAbility, a start-up program that facilitates business creation for people with disability who are passionate about establishing a small business or expanding an existing one. For more information, visit SSI IgniteAbility.

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