Catalysr, a Sydney-based organisation supporting ‘migrapreneur’-led startups, is calling for applications to its 2018 pre-accelerator program.
Set to run from September, the six month program will provide participants with tailored resources and support, kicking off with a startup bootcamp that will take participants through the startup essentials.
Catalysr was founded by Usman Iftikhar and Jacob Muller in 2016 to support refugees and first-generation migrants running small businesses or startups in Australia, before they looked back in mid-2017 to ask how they could make the most impact.
“This led us to redesign our program to support the best migrant and refugee entrepreneurs across Australia, who we can migrapreneurs. These are people who are ready to dream big, challenge the status quo and want to create solutions to large-scale problems,” Iftikhar explained.
“After running an iteration we’ve found the product/market/impact fit for Catalysr.”
The term ‘migrapreneur’ is one Catalysr came up with, Iftikhar explained, in a bid to overcome the stigma often attached to the words ‘migrants’ and ‘refugees’.
“A third of all small businesses in Australia are owned by migrants and, according to Startup Muster, more than 35 percent of startup founders were born outside Australia. This is a phenomenal track record that should be recognised and celebrated with a new word,” he said.
The Migration Council of Australia has predicted that migration will contribute $1.6 trillion to Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050 and add 15.7 percent to workforce participation rates, while a report by the Treasury and Department of Home Affairs found recent migrants accounted for more than 64 percent of the 850,000 net jobs created over the past years.
Among these jobs are those created by Catalysr alumni; the pre-accelerator has supported a diverse range of businesses since launch, from Egyptian street food business Koshari Korner to lab-grown diamond startup Diamonds from the Sky, and digital transformation agency BlueBell Research.
Catalysr has also supported Plannero, a startup building a calendar powered by artificial intelligence:
Applications for the Catalysr pre-accelerator close tomorrow, Friday 24 August. Learn more and apply here – at least one cofounder in the startup must be a refugee or first-generation migrant.
Image: Usman Iftikhar as part of TransferWise’s Faces of Australia campaign.