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First of its kind Entrepreneurs Boot Camp for migrants by Migrant Careers Support Trust

With a purpose of helping migrants settle into mainstream careers in New Zealand, Migrant Careers Support Trust, a non-profit charitable trust recently conducted a first of its kind, Entrepreneurs Boot Camp at the ANZ premises in Sylvia Park.

Attended by over 30 participants belonging to various ethnicities, the boot camp was aimed at new or settled migrants who wanted to set up their own business and were unsure of where to start. It was also aimed at new entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who wanted a refresher in navigating the ins and outs of running a new business.

Speaking about the boot camp, Garry Gupta, Founder of Migrant Careers Support Trust said, “This idea was born from the various conversations I had with people who attended our Job Seekers boot camp, in the past. Some of them were finding it difficult to get jobs that suited their skill level or had excellent business ideas but were clueless about where to start. As we try to help migrants become economically independent, we set out to educate these aspiring entrepreneurs and provide them a platform to learn from the expertise of other business leaders.”

The two-day workshop brought together trained experts and industry leaders who shared their insights into launching and running a business. Questions often faced by aspiring entrepreneurs were covered in this Boot Camp with the first day focusing on the financial aspects of running a business.

Day one kicked off with “Setting up a business and Managing business cash flow” session with Sauvruth Sanjay, Accountant, ORB360, which was followed by “Buying / Acquiring a new business” by Pauras Rege, Director at ABC Corporate & Advisory.

Commenting on the boot camp, Pauras said, “As a migrant myself, I understand the struggles and frustrations that one goes through when trying to find a job or setting up a business. I wanted to present the aspiring entrepreneurs at the boot camp, with the various business opportunities that are indeed available to them. Investing in or buying a solid business can generate greater yields than other asset classes like property. If the participants were able to walk away with a better understanding of risk v/s return involved in buying businesses, I would consider my job well done.”

This led into a session on “Accounting best practices” by Xero expert Ann Cooper-Smith, CEO at Q2 Ltd. (Business Strategists and Chartered Accountants), with the day concluding on a session by Ritesh Chhaganlal, Relationship Manager- ANZ Business who spoke on “Financing your business & manage your banking”. There was also a session on managing business risks by Ashik Lal Crombie Lockwood.

The second day focused on growing the business with a “Sales & Marketing Presentation + Workshop- Make your pitch” by Garry Gupta, Director, Media Solutions Kiwi Ltd. A brief talk on Citizen Advise Bureau was conducted by Vani Kapoor, Migrant Connect Administrator, Citizens Advice Bureau Pakuranga-Eastern Manukau.

Alan Frauenstein, Senior Workplace Consultant and Nipun Wadhwa, Business Development Manager at Employsure talked about “Employment Regulations & Support” and Ashima Singh, Director, Legal Associates covered the “Legal Matters to consider for Business”.

Expressing her excitement about speaking at the boot camp, Ashima Singh, Director, Legal Associates and trustee of Migrant Careers said,” It is always a good experience proving guidance to people who are serious about starting a business. At Legal Associate, we believe in providing education to various communities and that was one of the main reasons behind conducting this presentation. It was a good experience for me personally as well – to know different people and understand what they are looking for. As migrants, we understand what others are going through, so we were keen make this idea into a reality as soon as it was conceptualised. It really was a privilege to be a part of this first of its kind migrant entrepreneurs boot camp.”

The highlight of the Boot Camp was ‘first time speaker’, Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala, CEO and Founder, Sudima Hotels who talked about his 20-year journey in New Zealand. His guest talk focused on his business ethos wherein he inspired the participants with his commitment to sustainability and travelling off the beaten track. He left the attendees with a message - “No matter how crowded your space is, create a space and own your niche.”

This Boot Camp would not have been possible without the generosity of the ANZ staff foundation. Cassandra Lee, Senior Manager, Migrant Business and Community Development, ANZ, said, “At ANZ, our purpose is to shape a world where people and communities thrive. The Entrepreneurs Boot Camp organised by the Migrant Careers Support Trust is in line with this as it is providing a meaningful and expert platform for migrants to rely on. We received some great feedback from the session, where participants found it to be helpful and informative. Personally, I quite enjoyed the mix of ethnicities at the Boot Camp which shows that this Boot Camp has connected across demographics.”

This initiative was also supported by the Ministry of Business & Innovation and the Office of Ethnic Communities.

Sharing his feedback on attending the boot camp, Raj Maharjan, Director, iSolutions Consultants Ltd. said, “This bootcamp exceed my expectations. As a business owner, I understand how to operate a company, but this boot camp was a good refresher. We learned cashflow management, investment, accounting - topics that are normally boring, but were presented with great examples and explained well by the speakers. I spoke with a number of participants after the boot camp, and they were all glad they signed up for this course. I would like to thank Migrant Careers for noticing this gap and organizing this workshop.

Migrant Careers plans to do more such workshops in the future.

All event pictures are also available on Facebook now.

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