Welcoming New Traders to the Market through Thrive Refugee Enterprise
Queen Victoria Market has today announced a new partnership with Thrive Refugee Enterprise to support refugees and asylum seekers open their own businesses at the market.
Research commissioned by Thrive shows that almost 30% of refugees will start a small business by their 10th year of being in Australia. Thrive’s mission is to encourage and support entrepreneurship in refugees to bring this forward to within their first three years. This inaugural partnership with Queen Victoria Market is an important step toward achieving that goal.
Thrive assists refugees and asylum seekers in Australia motivated to become financially independent by providing self-employment business ideas, support, mentoring and financing for their new or existing businesses.
Queen Victoria Market has a long history of supporting migrants with many of the Market’s 600-plus small businesses made up of multi-generational families from around the world who have made Melbourne and Queen Victoria Market their home.
The new group of refugees trading at the Market includes:
Salma By Nature: All natural soaps and candles handmade by Samar Chami – a refugee from Lebanon who learnt the technique from watching her grandfather make soaps from extracted olive oil on their olive farm in Lebanon.
Mediterranean Pastry: Turkish sweets including baklava, shortbread, cookies and tulumba made by Tahla Gok. Raised in Turkey, Tahla served in the Turkish Army before arriving in Australia under a protection visa.
African Elegance: Traditional and modern African dresses, clothing and accessories designed in Melbourne for weddings, events and special occasions. The business is run by two friends, Saleh Siraj and Aimen Abu Beker, who are both Eritrean refugees. Saleh and his family fled the civil war, first seeking refuge in a UNHCR camp in Sudan before spending time as a refugee in Israel where he began selling African-designed clothes at markets; harnessing his entrepreneurial spirit. In 2003, he was granted a refugee visa to Australia where he went on to study Multimedia and Graphic Design at Victoria University. Aimen joined Saleh in the business a year ago, bringing with him his own business skills and mindset.
Smart Goods: Shop a range of smart goods including phone chargers, bluetooth appliances, mobile covers and more! You can also find a selection of LED smart accessories that’d be sure to brighten up your day!
Thrive Refugee Enterprise is a not-for-profit organisation that provides business ideas, support, financing and mentoring for refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. Their support extends to clients within all stages of starting a business from start-up to operational. Support is tailored to meet every client’s individual business needs through a consultation process that focuses on the clients’ skills, goals, experience, and ideas. Thrive is proudly supported by Westpac and other generous private contributors.
Click here to learn more about Thrive Refugee Enterprise.