Funded by SSI, the Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative facilitates business creation for a diverse range of people, with a focus on those from vulnerable communities, such as people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, who are keen to establish a small business or expand an existing one.
Fledgling entrepreneurs are supported by Ignite facilitators, industry experts and a Resource Team made up of volunteers from local businesses, councils, chambers of commerce and other individuals who can share their business knowledge and skills.
Many recently arrived refugees face significant barriers to employment in Australia, in particular during the early stages of their settlement.
An evaluation report of the Ignite initiative shows there is significant entrepreneurial potential among refugees and many who have prior business experience. With support to overcome settlement challenges, these entrepreneurs will go on to contribute to the Australian economy.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals migrants who arrived as refugees reported the highest proportion of their incomes “from their own unincorporated businesses” in 2009-2010.This income grew with the length of time they spent in Australia and “increased sharply” after five years of residency.
The Ignite initiative is another avenue through which SSI works with people to actively provide support to ensure meaningful social and economic participation.