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Facilitating New Refugee Enterprise Formation in Sydney

Project Member(s): Collins, J.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Settlement Services International

Start year: 2014

Summary: The initiative by SSI to assist refugee clients in the establishment and development of private sector enterprises following the Sirolli model is very innovative and important. The establishment of enterprises is a critical part of the internal and international mobility of many immigrants, including refugees. Indeed the Canadian author, Doug Saunders, argues in his book Arrival City (Saunders 2010) that establishing a private enterprise in the informal or formal sector of the economy is often the key factor in ensuring successful settlement. In the past refugees have established private enterprises in Australia. In doing so these refugee entrepreneurs overcome significant barriers but make significant contributions to the successful settlement of their families and in turn create wealth and employment. The contacted research project will involve monitoring and evaluating SSIs Refugee Enterprise Facilitation Program over three years. The evaluation of the program will take a number of forms: An annual qualitative evaluation of the experience of the enterprise advisers and the refugee clients involved in the program. This will be achieved by three monthly interviews of the enterprise advisers and each of the clients who enter the program. Each client will also be surveyed each year to document their experiences with the program and with their intended/established enterprise. Regular attendance at, and monitoring of, the monthly Resources Board meeting will be a key part of the evaluation.Regular meetings will be held with SSI over the course of the three year evaluation program. Annual reports will be written at the end of year 1 and year 2 with a final report at the end of year 3. Ways to link UTS Business School MBA students to the program evaluation will also be explored.

Keywords: Refugees and humanitarian entrants, refugee entrepreneurs and enterprises, facilitation, evaluation

FOR Codes: Entrepreneurship, Race and Ethnic Relations, Employment Patterns and Change, Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society, Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Migrant Development and Welfare, Migration