Exploring potential business opportunities to create value for a refugee community in Sydney Australia

Desiree Gaillard, Kate Hughes

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    This exploratory study was conducted as a first stage of research to identify social initiatives, related to reducing unemployment, that have the potential to benefit female members of the Sudanese refugee community based in a suburb of western Sydney, Australia. This research makes use of an interpretive ethnographic approach to analyse and present findings from both the literature and in-depth interviews conducted with senior members of the non-profit organization working with the refugees. This organisation known as SAIL (????) was originally a student-led group and now has transitioned into a community-based volunteer group with over 450 members working in two locations in the Blacktown area with over 500 Sudanese refugees. The research revealed three types of social initiatives related to providing greater opportunities for employment which have the potential to benefit female members of this community. These were: utilize existing skills (i.e, programs focused on farming, cooking and artistic skills); develop new skills (i.e., programs specifically linked to improving English language and computer skills); and initiatives to combine existing and new skills (i.e, programs focused on developing translator/interpretation skills). The results emphasise the importance of first exploring the viability of the opportunity before any attempt is made to undertake the development of a business model. Specific attention is drawn to the following three fundamental questions in relation to the opportunity for this particular community: Does the community believe the opportunity is capable of delivering value? Does the opportunity satisfy a real customer need? Are the risks associated with the opportunity insurmountable? This study also seeks to contribute to this area of knowledge by suggesting future research with respect to this specific community be considered, in particular: compare the resettlement and employment differences under the various types of humanitarian visa’s; explore a potential emerging theme which suggests a link between creating new opportunities or utilizing existing opportunities in an employment market is dependent on whether existing skills are utilized or new skills are developed; explore a potential theme that suggests the use of refugees personal networks influences employment towards limiting opportunities to the secondary labour market; explore whether a targeted English language program can provide employment that elevates refugees out of the secondary labour market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventIrish Academy of Management Conference - University of Limerick, Limerick, United Kingdom
    Duration: 5 Sept 2012 → …


    ConferenceIrish Academy of Management Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Period5/09/12 → …


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