There are many reasons people cite as their motivation for volunteering.
Ignite Resource Team volunteer Yateender Gupta has a deep and personal reason for donating his time and experience to help others.
"Volunteering is my spirituality," Mr Gupta said. "I don’t go to a temple or pray, but when I help serve these people [Ignite entrepreneurs]. I feel like I’m serving God, so the benefits are twofold."
Mr Gupta is an accountant and business consultant who migrated to Australia from India almost 25 years ago.
He has run an accountancy business for six years and, with his entrepreneurial and accounting background, he believes can provide valuable advice to newly arrived refugees starting a small business.
"Obviously language is one of the biggest challenges to overcome, but conditions in Australia for setting up a business are so different from their home countries," Mr Gupta said. "They have to consider things that may not even exist back home such as compliance, employee relationships, consumer protection and the lack of a cash economy."
Under the Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative, the Resource Team supports budding refugee entrepreneurs with information on topics such as product development, marketing, and financial management. The team provides valuable local experience and knowledge in these areas, either on a voluntary basis or on non-commercial rates.
Ignite Coordinator Dina Petrakis said Mr Gupta’s support of the Ignite initiative and its entrepreneurs was invaluable.
"The expert and professional support that Yateender volunteers, as do all Resource Team members, plays a crucial role in assisting our fledgling entrepreneurs," she said.
Mr Gupta has provided advice about business structures, trusts, and the pros and cons of being a sole trader. Along with his one-on-one work with entrepreneurs, Mr Gupta also occasionally holds business workshops in the evenings for up to 50 people of refugee background who are hoping to start a business.
One of the original Resource Team members, Mr Gupta said he had met a lot of interesting people and really enjoyed supporting them on their journeys.
"I’ve worked with builders and construction companies, restauranteurs, software developers, cleaners and even a barber," he said.
"I believe that if we can help and give these entrepreneurs a chance, they are going to strive to succeed and they will one day contribute significantly to the Australian economy; it’s a win-win for everyone."