SSI’s Ignite Small Business Start-ups is to benefit from donations of around $60,000 thanks to the amazing generosity of Google and its Sydney-based staff.
Googlers Wendy Glasgow, Nap Lara, (SSI Champion) Doug Abdiel, Matt Pretel and SSI Partnerships and Fundraising Manager Naushin Rahman.
The multinational technology company, which supports non-profits in their efforts to tackle society’s greatest challenges and make communities stronger, matches Google staff donations to non-profits they love.
This month SSI was one of five charities selected for Google’s annual Give Week.
With the support and encouragement of Google’s SSI champion Doug Abdiel — who made a significant personal donation — 20 Google volunteers joined SSI’s fundraising team on December 7, collecting donations as the Googlers arrived at cafes in Google’s Sydney offices for breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks.
An added incentive was samples of Aunty’s Ginger Tonic, produced by Ignite start-up entrepreneur and former refugee Yarie Bangura.
Ms Bangura spoke to Google employees about her small business on November 25, so they were well aware of the tonic’s benefits as well as how their donations could support the Ignite initiative, and help refugees start their own businesses in Australia.
Ignite Small Business Start-ups supports budding entrepreneurs from refugee backgrounds to overcome the challenges of starting a business in Australia. Through this initiative, entrepreneurs become independent and self-sufficient and create employment for others.
Ignite taps into the existing skills, knowledge and experience that refugees bring and supports them to navigate and succeed in the complex Australian business environment.
Entrepreneurs are assisted by an Ignite enterprise facilitator, who establishes a system of resource support around the entrepreneur, including industry experts, marketing professionals, financial managers, mentors and others.
To date, Ignite has seen more than 240 entrepreneurs and helped establish 58 business start-ups.
Naushin Rahman, SSI’s Partnerships and Fundraising Manager, said Google’s Give Week was an amazing opportunity to engage and fundraise with Google staff.
"We are simply blown away by the generosity and enthusiasm of the Googlers!," she said. "And also by Google matching the donations."
Ms Rahman said she was amazed by the passion of the Googlers who took time out to volunteer for SSI on the day and by Mr Abdiel, whose motivational email and all-round support (and cow costume) had a huge impact.