SSI’s CEO was driven to create a pathway and ecosystem of support for the hundreds of refugees and migrants who had approached her for support, mentorship and guidance in how to kick start their small business dream in Australia and respond to the high rates of unemployment among new arrival communities.

Our research indicated that people from a refugee background display strong entrepreneurial qualities, with a higher than average proportion engaging in small and medium business compared to the general Australian population.

Ignite aimed to harness these qualities and delivers the first start-ups program in Australia to focus on refugees, based on an enterprise facilitation model developed by the Sirolli Institute.

SSI is very proud of this initiative that received the National Settlement Innovation Award in 2017 from the Migration Council of Australia alongside its other employment and enterprise initiatives.

We are committed to sharing our model with like-minded organisations who want to help stimulate small business in their states, territories or countries and build on a proven model of small  business facilitation.

What will it take to be successful?

  • Good standing as a purpose driven organisation delivering social support services
  • Existing relationships and strong community service networks
  • Existing track record of delivering positive outcomes for disadvantaged communities
  • Strong organisational culture in supporting innovative practices, action-learning and continuous improvement
  • A commitment from the whole-of-organisation (including Board, CEO and senior management) to investing in a new program focused on facilitating business ventures
  • Knowledge of, and links to, local employers and the business community more broadly
  • Existing governance and administrative systems, with capacity to manage new staff and resources
  • Existing communications and marketing capacity to promote Ignite and celebrate the success, and
  • Ability to invest in three (3) core positions to support Ignite
  • Capacity to meet core Ignite deliverable of one-on-one facilitation and support
  • Ability to provide Ignite participants with prompt access to interpreters or bi-lingual staff who are able to assist in the Ignite facilitation process, and
  • Existing client tracking system and/or capacity to efficiently monitor and report on Ignite inputs, outputs and outcomes over time.

Contact us for more information and to find out how you can license Ignite in your state, territory or country.