Employment pathways

Entrepreneurs Program

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing.” – Richard Branson

Entrepreneurs go through a lot to become successful. It requires patience and resilience, characteristics that are very familiar for many refugees and people seeking asylum.

The ASRC Entrepreneurs Program builds on the patience and resilience of refugees and people seeking asylum to help them build the skills to become successful entrepreneurs, or create their own small business. Our participants are provided with a personalized program with access to business coaching, industry specialists, business services, funding and networks so they can decide whether the entrepreneurial path is right for them and if so, start the path to making their business dream a reality.

Thanks to our principal funding partner, Virgin Unite, in 2017 we were able to support around 60 participants to develop their own business, gain personal coaching and link into the resources of a number of supporting partners.

How the program works

Phase 1: goal setting and planning

This initial phase is about developing a working relationship with business coaches (experienced business people who are trained to coach refugees and people seeking asylum) to determine goals for the business idea. In this phase, we work with participants to clarify their business ideas, identify their existing capabilities, develop new skills and knowledge to help them achieve their business goals. Through this phase and with the support of their coach, each participant will develop their own business development plan.

Phase 2: learning business fundamentals and building networks

Participants are introduced to this phase by attending a Small Business Victoria workshop where they recieve a broad introduction to the fundamentals of doing business in Australia.
Participants and coaches also have access to online learning resources at Fitzroy Academy. Using this framework, participants will bring their business plan to life.

Each participant will also have the opportunity network and build relationships with other business owners and industry experts to help them get started through a number of events and activities.

Phase 3: Business plan and microfinance

Participants that qualify will be supported to develop a business plan to access small start-up business loans with our microfinance partners including Thrive Refugee Enterprises and Many Rivers.

Connect with us

Frequently asked questions

Are you an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a person who creates and owns their own business.

Can I participate in the program?

If you are a person who is seeking asylum and you are an entrepreneur or would like to become an entrepreneur, this is the program for you. Participants of the program will learn how to build, launch, grow and operate a successful business in Australia.

How do I join the program? 

If you are interested in participating in the Entrepreneurs Program, please email us at business.team@asrc.org.au and let us know about your business idea. We will then reach out to you to understand your business goals and if you are able to join the program.