Yesterday was the South Australian Migrant Small Business Expo hosted by the University of Adelaide at its business incubator, ThincLab, with a series of workshops and keynotes to help migrant small and medium-sized enterprises navigate the challenging business environment. With around one third of Australian small businesses founded by migrants, the Australian insurance agency CGU’s Migrant Small Business Report 2018 found that the sector was a significant job creator and source of economic activity, accounting for 11% of Australia’s GDP.
Carmen Garcia, award-winning CEO of Community Corporate and the small business expo’s founder, said that, for any startup, navigating the business world can be daunting, but for migrants the challenges are amplified.
South Australian professional services – on hand to assist small businesses
This year’s expo focuses on business success factors such as digital, creative, brand development and customer engagement. We have selected a fantastic lineup of inspirational business leaders and industry experts – people like Corinna Steeb, founder of brewing success story Prancing Pony, digital consultant John Kiama, and Sam Hassan, co-founder of fintech startup Link4, to share their war stories and insights. We want everyone setting up a business here to know ‘you are not alone’.
Community surveys conducted over the last three years consistently found that the most significant barrier migrant’s face is accessing meaningful information for starting up or running a small business.
“Many Australian migrants and refugees have significant qualifications from their home country that they cannot use in Australia,” Ms Garcia said.
“This event is about helping them to unlock these skills and empowering individuals and communities to shape their own futures. It’s a great opportunity for those who have come to this great state from other countries to learn first-hand how others have succeeded in business.”
Entry to the South Australian Migrant Small Business Expo was free.
The South Australian Migrant Small Business Expo also hosted the Multicultural Women’s Business Networking Event with ongoing support from the Asia Pacific Business Council for Women and Miss Mysa Events (refugee youth social enterprise). An impressive line-up of entrepreneurial women on the panel included Professor Pascale Quester, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Academic) at the University of Adelaide; Teresa Janowski, CEO and Founder of STEM Fast Track, Zita Ngor, Chief Executive of Women’s Legal Service; and Desak Yoni, Founder of Samsara Coaching.