Despite the huge challenges they face, refugees are the most entrepreneurial migrants in Australia and nearly twice as likely to be entrepreneurs as Australian taxpayers in general. Yet refugee entrepreneurship hardly features in public debate and receives little policy support. Even refugee settlement and employment services rarely recognise or encourage it. Supporting refugee entrepreneurs has great potential: an ambitious but achievable target of launching 1,000 new refugee businesses each year could yield $98 million in annual economic and fiscal gains. Within ten years, the boost to the economy could be nearly $1 billion a year. There would be large social benefits too. By focussing on these benefits we are not suggesting entrepreneurship is the best or only path for refugees to participate in the economy. The Centre for Policy Development's Cities and Settlement Initiative has made the case for more effective settlement and employment services across the board. An important part of this reform agenda is greater support for refugee entrepreneurs. Drawing on both Australian evidence and international best practices, this report sets out how best to foster greater refugee entrepreneurship in an inclusive and costeffective manner. We identify Seven Steps to SUCCESS. Drawing on both Australian evidence and international best practices, this report sets out how best to foster greater refugee entrepreneurship in an inclusive and cost effective manner and identifies Seven Steps to SUCCESS.
The top priority is to raise awareness of refugees’ remarkable business contribution and potential. Launching Refugee Entrepreneur of the Year awards could have an immediate impact. We also identify promising existing initiatives that could be replicated and expanded. Substantial change, though, requires a strategic approach to make entrepreneurship a viable option for all suitable refugees.