Have a business idea but not a resident? South Australia wants you!

Pictured (L to R): Domenic Saporito (Outcome.Life), Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu (Little Green Panda), Usman Iftikhar (Catalysr), Natanael Yan Setiawan (Pencil Rocket) and Benjemen Elengovan (MySafetyBot).

In November, Outcome.Life collaborated with Spark Deakin, a young entrepreneur support and mentoring service by Deakin University, to host a very insightful panel discussion with several young international entrepreneurs.

These former international students were courageous enough to follow their own dreams rather than someone else’s, by starting their businesses to solve some of our world’s biggest problems.

Interestingly, two of the four founders have chosen to take advantage of a new initiative by the South Australian Government. The program provides a fast-tracked pathway to permanent residency via entrepreneurship.

Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) is a 3-year pilot looking to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in South Australia with accelerated migration as an incentive.
The program encourages internationals with a new business concept to start in South Australia with support from the State Government. The benefits include networking opportunities with other local and international business people, mentoring programs and a business support network in South Australia. In return, a healthy start-up ecosystem is being built in South Australia, as well as the potential for employment growth.

Daniel Tan and Natanael Yan Setiawan, founders of video production & social media startup Pencil Rocket explained, “The application process was fairly straightforward once we received support from NVI”. NVI, or New Venture Institute, is an award-winning accelerator program and one of four accredited accelerators working with South Australia’s universities.

Daniel picked up his life and moved to Adelaide to satisfy the requirements of the program. When asked how was the change from living in Melbourne to Adelaide, Daniel responded, “It’s certainly a little quieter. But the fewer people means I have been able to develop deeper relationships with other businesses founders.”

He added, “I am also leading a healthier lifestyle as there is not the pressure to work late and skip healthy meals”. When asked if moving to Adelaide has adversely affected his business, Daniel replied “Not really, there is still plenty of work out there for us”.

Usman Iftikhar of Catalysr, a pre-accelerator run for migrants & refugees, spoke of the growing awareness of the SISA initiative amongst international students, migrants & refugees, “More and more Australian migrant entrepreneurs are contemplating a move to Adelaide. I hope the other states get on board soon.”

The founder of MySafetyBot, Benjemen Elengovan, also recently applied for the SISA program after completing his education in Melbourne as an international student. Benji’s startup assists businesses to record and prevent workplace injuries. Benji will be relocating himself and his business to Adelaide within weeks.

In contrast, Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu of Little Green Panda isn’t going anywhere. Her 15-month-old business, supplying eco-friendly drinking straws to retail and large hotel chains, is flying! The New Zealand resident also spoke about more traditional startup issues she faces: lack of time, resources and access to the funds necessary to fill her mounting orders.

Not everyone is suited for a corporate job in Australia. Just like locals, many international students and migrants would prefer to be self-employed. History shows that Australia’s economy and has been built on migrants arriving in Australia and starting businesses. But rarely has entrepreneurship been a basis for immigration into Australia.

So well done to South Australia! SISA is an exceptional initiative taken up by South Australia recognising the contribution international entrepreneurs can make to this country. If Victoria wants to continue to be seen as the most progressive entrepreneurial state, it is time for the Victorian government to follow in the footsteps of our footy-loving neighbour!

Outcome.Life is all set to run its own pre-accelerator program over summer in conjunction with La Trobe Accelerator Program (LAP). Last year, we had the pleasure of assisting 28 entrepreneurs, including 3 locals, to realise their business ideas. Many went on to commercialise their businesses and several joined conventional accelerator programs, including LAP.

If you have a business idea or early-stage business and are looking to validate and/or commercialise it, what are you waiting for? Find out more about our free pre-accelerator program here, or you can fill out an expression of interest form here!

You can also get in touch with us at Outcome.Life to learn more about our internship programs.

Domenic Saporito

Diversity matters: How five tech startups are improving workplace diversity

Creating diversity is a complex problem, particularly in specialised sectors like technology.

Education, government and media are key sectors in bringing about change. Business, while also being key, differs in that it needs diversity. As the consumer of diversity, businesses have the most to gain when we get diversity right.

Past TechDiversity Award Business category winners have proven just that. In creating innovative diversity programs, brands including REA Group, Vodafone and Avanade are using technology to foster diversity.

Five of these businesses talk through their processes.

To support #TechDiversity in your workplace, attend the Gala Awards Dinner and be inspired by the conversation of the positive that is happening in diversity.

Check your biases

As a global jobs network, Work180 advocates for working women across multiple companies and industries by providing job applicants with a transparent directory of endorsed employers supporting diversity, inclusion and equality.

This process begins by screening employers, asking them to share information around pay equity, flexible working, paid parental leave, equal opportunities and other criteria. This allows Work180 to assess employers’ acceptance of age, ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation before allowing them to join the network.

Even employers who don’t make it through this check then undergo the next steps to improving and developing workforce participation.

Create an inclusive community

Outcome-Hub is a co-working space between University of Melbourne and RMIT with an open-door policy for international students to visit, spend time, engage and even start a business. In 2018, Outcome-Hub welcomed over 4000 people and hosted 60 events to inspire internationals to participate in the local start-up community.

The core project is facilitating placements of international students into internships with startups in Australia. With well over 100 placements been made to date, these startups gain the advantage of a culturally diverse business while many interns become valuable long-term team members or start their own business.

This is supported by their digital marketplace, InternMatch, which helps to connect even more international students with start-ups.

Open specific opportunities

Envato’s in-house Apprentice Developer Program was created to tackle the industry-wide skill shortage and gender diversity challenge. The program is only open to female applicants and provides mentorship for apprentice developers, equipping them with the skills to become junior developers.

It aims to ensure capable female coders have a clearer pathway to entry in a highly skilled and technical job through a combination of classroom and immersive-style learning. As apprentices grow from programming real tasks with mentors to fully fledged engineering team members, Envato gains trusted employees while offering women opportunities to grow and network.

Invest in the future

Joko’s World, Cultural Infusion’s interactive learning apps for children aged 7-14, blend global music, geography and culture in an innovative and educational way to improve children’s cultural awareness and understanding.

By stimulating and engaging the next generation with unique customs and traditions around the world, the app develops multicultural appreciation and curiosity from a young age through a digital platform.

Cultural Infusion also developed Ancestry Atlas, a sophisticated tool that enables an organisation, school or group to map their cultural diversity. Partnering with the Australian National University (ANU), this app further encourages children to look at real word diversity.

Raise awareness

Women make over 85% of purchase decisions equating to $874 billion last year alone. Femeconomy’s mission is for women to shop female lead brands. Femeconomy researched over 2000 brands finding those with at least 30% of women on their Board of Directors or 50% female owned.

Currently over 800 brands meet Femeconomy’s approval criteria for an approval badge on the website. The goal is to map all businesses meeting this criteria in Australia, then the US and UK, in an effort to raise consumer awareness of gender equality in company leadership.

More women in leadership benefits business. Research from Peterson Institute of International Economics shows that moving from no women in corporate leadership to 30% is associated with a 15% increase in profitability.

 

*Source- Smartcompany

Is this the ‘WORLD’S BEST KEPT SECRET’ for Australian Business Owners?

In an economy where resources are stretched more than ever, businesses struggle to find capable talent. With wage costs increasing, many businesses owners find themselves with far more work than available time.  Many would like to engage an intern to help, but simply can’t afford to pay them – but do they need to?

Heralded as the ‘world’s best kept secret’ for business owners, it is not only possible to have an unpaid intern, but very advantageous to do so.  So if you’re under-resourced and time poor (read: everyone!) here’s why you should consider engaging an international student intern, and how you can obtain one:

Why should I consider an international student intern?

A qualified (and possibly experienced) extra set of hands

Every business appreciates an extra set of hands for the projects that they just don’t have time to do themselves.  With interns qualified in areas such as accounting and ICT, there is a vast array of valuable and important projects you can receive assistance with.

What’s more, many international student interns also have work experience, that they obtained previously in their home country.  This means that only minimal training may be required, and you may be able to receive assistance on more senior projects.

Motivation and positivity in droves

No matter how great your business is, it can always benefit from more positive and motivated employees! International students who are at the beginning of their careers in Australia are known for their positivity, motivation and great work ethic, and as such can be a great asset to your team.

Value in diversity

Cultural diversity is so important for any business – organisations that are culturally diverse are more profitable, as well as more innovative, and all employees of culturally diverse organisations are more engaged, and happier at work. International students can also bring particular diversity benefits including the ability to talk to your customers or clients in different languages, and an in-depth understanding of overseas markets and business cultures.

It’s free (legally)

As all business owners would know, it is very difficult to (legally) hire an unpaid intern.

However, when you engage an international student intern, they complete their intern placement (usually 12 week, full-time or part-time) as part of a course called Professional Year, So, it is perfectly legal to engage them in this manner, and one of the only legal ways to do so (vocational placement according to the Fair Work Act).

How can I obtain one?

Outcome.Life is proud to be able to provide businesses with talented and motivated international student interns.  Feel free to contact me at domenic@outcome.life  , reach out via LinkedIn, or give me a call on 0410 662 393 to find out more.

Outcome.Life is a visionary portal that helps to transform the lives of international students through education, connectivity, community, and much more.

Why startups and education providers should go hand in hand

Innovation and startups are set to be the future of the Australian, and possibly even global, employment landscape.

However, educational institutions place a greater  emphasis on students and graduates obtaining employment in established companies in favour of startups.

With reports stating that the concept of automation will see five million Aussie jobs gone in the next 10 to 15 year,  Australians should be thinking about their current skill set and the changing nature of the industry they are in to ensure ongoing employment..

           The alliance between  industry, including startups and educators, has never been more important.

Australia needs to maintain and advance upon our global ranking of 7th in the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index.

Despite this seemingly high ranking, Australia still has a relatively low rate of startup formation for a developed nation.

Education providers need to be taking this into account in not only the types of courses they offer, but also the components taught in existing courses, including more emphasis on startups.

Greater emphasis on startups in courses

Universities usually encourage their graduates to find employment at large, multi-national companies, as these are traditionally seen as employers of choice

However, there should be a push for graduates to think about joining startups and/or starting their own business from early on, ideally when they are still students and generally don’t bare financial and family responsibilities .

While financial limitations will hamper young students’ ability to start their own businesses, it should be ingrained into them that the goal is attainable, even if at a time in the future.

This can be taught in courses and experienced by partnering with the University’s local startup ecosystem; making students feel that they are equipped to commence a business of their own.

Teaching a diverse skill set of entrepreneurial skills, as well as promoting an entrepreneurial mindset,will provide immense benefits for those looking at launching their own startup and putting their ideas into action.

The right working spaces

There is a growing number of co-working spaces for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but not many are aligned with universities, nor designed with students in mind.

Co-working spaces are becoming more niche.  For instance, our Outcome-Hub in Melbourne is a co-working space designed specifically for international graduates to start their own businesses in Australia, rather than in their home country.

Universities are places where this type of co-working should commence. Regular ‘libraries’ are suited to study and research but a greater emphasis needs to be placed on the concept of co-working and the development of business at educational institutions.

Universities should create and promote dedicated spaces open to students at all levels and from all faculties to foster an entrepreneurial environment. This could have dedicated mentors available to allow for greater discussion and implementation of ideas between students.

Interns at startups

Internship opportunities at startups should be pushed so that students can see first-hand how new startup business operate.

Instead, Universities generally encourage their students to take intern roles, as part of courses, at established, long-standing companies where they become a small cog in a very large machine

While this type of experience is also important, students should be given the chance to apply their skills and knowledge in startups where, typically, they are given a greater range of roles and responsibilities.

Interns at startups can also make a greater impact on the business, especially in its infancy. Being resource poor, student interns are encouraged to do more, and think outside the box, something the Universities say they teach, but rarely implement outside the classroom.  The experience in startups for interns is real, rather than observational as it often is at major firms.

If we agree that innovation and startups are set to be the future of the Australian employment, Universities need to incorporate entrepreneurial thinking and experience into their courses.  After all, grass level learnings are always a better way to ingrain important concepts in people’s minds.