Working paper

Private and community sector initiatives in refugee employment and entrepreneurship

Business enterprises Entrepreneurship Small business Immigration Refugees Startups Australia

In recent years, refugee intakes to Australia and other countries have increased dramatically. Australia has taken in 12,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict in addition to the (increasing) annual humanitarian intake. Refugees face substantial barriers engaging with the economy and labour market. One option open to refugees is to create their own job by starting a business. This working paper explores the experiences of refugee entrepreneurs in Australia and reviews the policies and programs designed to assist refugee entrepreneurs in Australia and other countries. Most refugees, however, will not become entrepreneurs. Their challenge is to find a job. Public and private sector partnerships have great potential in developing innovative solutions to employment creation for refugees. This paper reviews Australian and international research and policy development in these two areas and argues that innovative solutions via private and community sector partnerships in employment creation and enterprise start-ups for refugees are critical.

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