- Despite the huge challenges they face, refugees are the most entrepreneurial migrants in Australia – they and nearly twice as likely to be entrepreneurs as Australian taxpayers as a whole.
- Contrary to popular belief, female refugees are more likely to report income from their own business than men.
- While some promising ventures supporting refugee entrepreneurship exist, these are largely confined to Melbourne and Sydney, and are limited in scale and funding. Australia is only scratching the surface of what refugee entrepreneurs could achieve with appropriate investment and support.
- An ambitious but achievable target of launching 1,000 new refugee-run businesses each year could yield $98 million in annual economic and fiscal gains. Within ten years, the boost to the economy could be nearly $1 billion a year. The social benefits would also be significant.
Seven Steps to SUCCESS: Enabling Refugee Entrepreneurs to Flourish
Investing in Refugee Talent: Lessons Learned in Labour Market Integration
Australian Employers Guide to Hiring Refugees: Migration Council of Australia (Jan 2019)
Seizing the opportunity: Making the most of the skills and experience of migrants and refugees: Multicultural Affairs Queensland (Nov 2018)
Senate inquiry into the appropriateness and effectiveness of jobactive – September 2018
The future of employment services in Australia: July 2018
Switzerland exploring refugee and asylum seeker employment
Settling Better: Reforming refugee employment and settlement services (Centre for Policy Development)
- But how effective are Australia’s settlement services with respect to employment?
- Are we drawing on our full potential to ensure the best economic, social and civic contributions of refugees to our society with the employment and settlement services currently in place?
CGU Migrant Small Business Report
Released on 22 January 2018, this report provides an important snapshot of the migrants, including those from a refugee background, who contribute to Australia's economic success by creating highly successful small businesses.
On releasing the report, CGU stated:
The report found that migrant business owners are entrepreneurial, innovative and ambitious, revealing:
- Eight in 10 (83%) migrant business owners started their first business venture after moving to Australia.
- Nearly one quarter of migrant business owners started their business to try out an innovative or new idea (23% compared to 16% of non-migrants).
- One in two migrant business owners are aiming to generate higher revenue in the next five years (47% compared to 38% of non-migrants).
- A quarter of migrant business owners are training young people in the community (25% compared to 19% of non-migrants).
- One in three migrant business owners are planning on growing their business with new hires (33% compared to 25% of non-migrants).
International Migration and Employment Growth in Australia 2011-16
Building a New Life in Australia: 27 November 2017
Private and community sector initiatives in refugee employment and entrepreneurship
Stories of Making Australia Home
SCoA member, Sydwest Multicultural Services has created an inspiring book which shares the stories of some of Australia's newest citizens. Exploring themes of employment, education, health, social engagement, family and many more, this collection of stories is a message of hope and a celebration of all that Australia stands to gain by welcoming refugees and helping them settle.
Empowering Migrant and Refugee Women
This report explores various aspects of service delivery to migrant women who have been living in Australia for at least five years. It documents the nature and types of service available, and identifies best practice principles and key service gaps in service delivery for migrant and refugee women. This report also outlines key priorities for addressing these service gaps.
NSW Settlement Partnership – In Focus
JobActive and Refugee Communities: Refugee Council of Australia
Foundations of Economic Engagement: June 2017
Beginning a Life in Australia
Building a new life in Australia
The Building a New Life in Australia project is a longitudinal study of refugees in Australia and maps their experiences over a series of years. This study is being undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, with information collected by Colmar Brunton Social Research. The project is commissioned and funded by the Department of Social Services.
Building a New Life in Australia aims to identify factors that impact the settlement of humanitarian migrants in Australia, in the hope that it will help improve policy development and program delivery for Australia's settlement sector.
In 2017, the AIFS will be releasing its first comprehensive release of the study's findings.
For more information, visit the project, here.